Diabetes is among the most severe and common chronic diseases worldwide. According to a government survey, over 30 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in India. But with the introduction of advanced healthcare products, monitoring blood sugar levels at home has been easier than ever before. Before we delve into the details of how best to make use of glucometers, let’s get to know this device better.
What is a glucometer?
- A glucometer is a medical device used for self-monitoring the concentration of blood glucose levels. A tiny drop of blood is drawn by piercing the skin, usually on the fingers.
- Then the blood is applied to a disposable ‘test strip’ that reveals individual patterns in blood glucose changes.
- This ultimately aids patients in planning meals and activities, as well as medication timings.
- The blood sugar meters, although being costly, are cost-effective relative to the medical costs of the complications of diabetes.
It helps to test both high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) as well as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
What are some common myths about glucometers?
There are several misconceptions associated with the use of glucometers. Here are some of the common myths debunked.
Myth #1 – There is no painless alternative
Fact: The advancements in medical science have made several user-friendly devices for painless blood glucose testing possible. These include light-based monitors, microwave glucose sensors, ultrasound sensors, etc.
Myth #2 – It is difficult to use
Fact: The glucometer comes with an easy to use manual. You just have to prick the side of your finger with a lancet and simply put the blood sample on the strip when it’s in the meter. The glucometer will display the reading in a matter of 4-5 seconds.
Myth #3 – The readings aren’t accurate
Fact: Glucometer test results are not precise measures, yet they’re intended to give you accurate readings for day to day treatment when you’re not at a specialist’s clinic. Accu-check and Omron are some of the companies that provide reliable and accurate readings.
Myth #4 – It causes infections
Fact: By practising proper hygiene and instructions, there is a very slim chance of contracting an infection because of glucometers
What are some things to keep in mind while using glucometers?
Regardless of whether you test a few times each day or just once, following a testing routine will assist you with preventing infections, getting precise results, and better screen your glucose levels. Here’s a step by step routine you can follow:
- Wash your hands with warm water and dry them thoroughly with a towel. If you utilize an alcohol swab, ensure to let the area dry completely before testing.
- Set up a clean lancet device by inserting a needle. This is a spring-stacked gadget that holds the needle used to prick the end of your finger.
- Expel one test take from your container or box of strips. Remember to close the bottle or box entirely to prevent contamination of the strips with dampness or dirt.
- Every modern meter has you embed the strip into the meter before you gather blood, so you can put the blood sample on the strip when it’s in the meter. With some more seasoned meters, you put the blood on the strip first, and then insert the strip in the meter.
- Use the lancet to prick your fingertip gently. Some glucometers permit testing from various sites on your body, for example, your arm. Read your device’s manual to ensure you’re drawing blood from the right spot.
- Wipe the first drop of blood, and afterwards collect a drop of blood on the test strip, ensuring you have a sufficient amount to get a reading. Be mindful to let just the blood, not your skin, contact the strip. Food or medication residue in your system may affect the test outcomes.
Cease the bleeding by holding a cotton ball or gauze pad on the spot where you utilized the lancet. Apply pressure until the bleeding has stopped.
How can digital solutions improve your glucometer experience?
Immense research and development have allowed for some of the best non-invasive glucose monitoring techniques in the market. Diabetes patients can now monitor their blood sugar levels without puncturing their skin, drawing blood or causing pain and trauma. These include:
- Light-based monitors work by shining a light beam onto the patient’s skin which then calculates the amount of light absorbed by glucose and indicates blood sugar levels.
- Microwave glucose sensors that use electromagnetic waves in the body to measure blood sugar levels.
- Ultrasound sensors, which are special sound waves, have a frequency that is too high for the human ear to hear. These sensors aid in the measurement of blood sugar levels.
- Other technologies that work on the same principle include ‘near-infrared detection’ which uses sound waves with frequencies lower than 20 kHz.
- IoT revolution has brought out innovative technology that allows physicians to receive a well-defined summary of diabetic patient’s glucose levels. This technology has a ‘customized alert delivery system’ which helps to expose vulnerabilities of the patients to physicians.
- A blood glucose meter connected to the IoT network that has been recently unveiled can send blood sugar levels of diabetics irrespective of their location to their friends and family.
- With the advent of advanced technology, fitness trackers are now being equipped to help manage diabetes. Blood sugar levels are now readily available right on your wrists.
Research implies that 1 out of every 4 Indians faces chronic illnesses, and 60% of them develop near-fatal complications. Using healthcare devices and digital health applications can really help for patients suffering from chronic ailments.
Together, these can help improve the quality of life by making healthcare patient-centric, easily accessible, and pocket-friendly. With consistent tracking, and syncing to a device, predictive algorithms can detect early symptoms of chronic ailments and track your ongoing treatments for maximum adherence preventing further complications.
Phable is an innovative lifestyle disease management app simplifying life for patients & doctors through health monitoring and doctor intervention.