More accurate meters on its way


7.5mmol/l (or 135 mg/dl)… that was my first blood test result today… but how accurate is really my meter… can I really trust that number?

In a study performed by the Department of Health of the UK, One-hundred-and-two patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes were observed performing a capillary blood glucose test. Immediately afterwards, a venous sample was taken for glucose and the two values compared. Only 47% of patients’ results were accurate to within 10% of their corresponding laboratory value.

After reading this you may feel, like I did, that your meter is completely useless and that you may as well toss a coin or throw a dice before chosing your next insulin dose. It is important, however, to understand the current regulations for glucose meter accuracy. According to the American Diabetes Association, a test result from a home blood glucose meter is considered accurate if it falls within ±20% of a lab test.  Comparing a meter’s test result with a lab test is the only valid method of determining whether or not your glucose meter is really accurate.

On the other hand, it does not seem like everything is lost. In a report published in the New York times a few weeks ago, the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates that there is a move to lobby the International Standards Organization into revising the international standard to mandate higher meter accuracy. Furthermore, according to a letter from the FDA, if the international standard is not revised, the agency may recognize the new requirement on its own, effectively making it mandatory for approval into the US market.

While this is not yet a done deal, it definitely looks promising.


4 Responses to More accurate meters on its way

  1. db says:

    What is the accuracy standard for the lab results ? They also have an accepted standard. I would be surprised if it were less than +- 10%

    Finally what is the expected consistency between blood sources ? Is the BG in all your fingers the same ?

    IMO this accuracy thing is a little over blown

  2. Sooz says:

    When you’re sitting at 4 mmol/L with no CGMS and you don’t know which way you’re headed, so you do 2 more tests – one is 3.7 mmol/L and the other is 4.5 mmol/L, it’s imperative to know whether to treat an impending hypo or not.

    Just one example that’s happened to me quite a few times.

    On the other hand I’ve given too much insulin when I”m 10 mmol/L, given the insulin, not understood why I’m that number and I test again within seconds and I’m 8.4 mmol/L.

    The inaccuracy of the several meters I have, really drives me crazy. Yet on a meter test and blood test recently, the meter was spot on. That time. They are reasonably accurate… most of the time, but sometimes, when it’s important, it’s better to do 2 tests.

  3. Liana says:

    Accuracy (rather inaccuracy) is such an issue for me at the moment. I am thinking of changing my meter from the optium xceed to accuchek performa (I have both of these meters already but prefer the xceed for it’s compactness) I have tested during the night and come up with a result of 1.2 mmol/l tested straight after and was 3.5 then 3.7 mmol/l without treating the 1.2 mmol/l.

    Of course there’s a difference of treating a 1.2 or a 3.5. This has happened to me a couple of times with lows and also highs.
    Quite frustrating.

  4. sooz says:

    Liana, you’ll love the Performa. I do, but I really want what’s called the Nano in Australia, which is like a compact Performa with a backlight and uses the same quick blood-uptake strip.

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