If you have diabetes, you know that regularly checking your glucose levels is an essential component of successful diabetes management. There are several ways to obtain glucose measurements, including blood glucose meters (BGMs) that use finger prick blood tests and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs).
While CGMs can be an excellent solution for some, they aren’t ideal for every lifestyle and diabetes management plan. For those who want to get the most accurate readings possible or have concerns about how a CGM would fit into their lifestyle, finger prick blood tests are a great option. But is there a simpler finger prick blood test than those required by traditional BGMs? Thanks to the introduction of new technology, the answer is yes.
What Is a Finger Prick Blood Test?
Finger prick blood tests, also known as fingerstick blood tests, are an easy way to measure the quantity of something in your blood (e.g., glucose). To perform a glucose check, you prick your finger with a lancet and collect the blood on a test strip for analysis by your BGM.
For people living with diabetes, regular glucose checking and tracking of your blood glucose levels provides you and your healthcare team with important insights:
- Whether your blood glucose levels are currently in your target range
- How medication, diet, exercise, stress, and other factors affect your glucose levels
- How well your treatment plan is working and whether any fine-tuning is needed
Routine monitoring also allows you to address low or high blood glucose events (hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia) in the moment.
The Challenges of Traditional Finger Prick Blood Tests
Using a traditional BGM is a multistep process involving several pieces of equipment, including the BGM, a lancing device, lancets, and test strips. To check your blood glucose, the general process is as follows:
- After washing and drying your hands, insert a test strip into the meter.
- Use your lancing device and lancet to obtain a blood sample from one of your fingers.
- Place your blood drop on the test strip.
- View your blood glucose level on the meter’s display panel.
While this may seem like a relatively simple process, you know that it can actually be cumbersome to check your blood glucose as often as you should, particularly if you need to check multiple times a day. Here are the most common challenges people living with diabetes face when using traditional finger prick blood tests:
- Pain from lancing/sore fingertips
- Finger prick anxiety
- Time constraints
- Difficulty keeping track of supplies, especially on the go
- Issues finding private places to check
If challenges such as those listed above are preventing you from staying on track with your daily blood glucose monitoring routine, it may be time to consider trying new monitoring tools that simplify the testing process and promote stronger adherence to your diabetes management plan.
Is There a Simpler Finger Prick Blood Test for Glucose Monitoring?
If you’re looking for a simpler finger prick blood test for glucose monitoring, you may want to consider an automatic blood glucose monitor (ABGM). Unlike a traditional BGM, it doesn’t require a finger prick blood test with separate lancets and test strips. Instead, the lancet and test strips are integrated into multi-test cartridges, and the ABGM automatically lances and collects blood with the press of a button. You can check your blood glucose quickly, discreetly, and without having to discard your used lancets and test strips in a sharps container.
If you often forget to check your blood glucose levels, you can use your phone or a glucose monitoring app, such as the Patterns® for POGO Automatic® app, to set reminders. Glucose monitoring apps provide easy data sharing and a platform on which to store comprehensive health data, allowing you to track and manage your specific trends. While some apps require you to enter blood glucose data manually, ABGMs with Bluetooth like POGO Automatic can wirelessly upload data to their corresponding apps and may even import data from other health apps to easily consolidate important health information.
Reimagining Finger Prick Blood Tests for Glucose Monitoring
The POGO Automatic Monitor offers a simple, fast, and accurate way to check your blood glucose. You simply pop a 10-test cartridge into the monitor and carry on with your day—there’s nothing else to carry with you. When you’re ready to check your blood glucose, turn the monitor on and place your finger on the test port, and the monitor will automatically lance, collect blood, and give you accurate results within seconds. When the test is complete, POGO Automatic retracts the lancet and test strip and readies new ones for next time.
Diabetes management is a complex journey and can be overwhelming. By working with your healthcare team to find new tools and strategies that simplify diabetes management and support your overall health, you can stay on track while simplifying your day-to-day routine.
Jaclyn Owens is a product director specializing in diabetes management tools. She is committed to using technology to empower people with diabetes and help them take control of their health.
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.