Diabetes is synonymous with high blood sugar levels. If left unattended or if the readings are incorrectly interpreted, it can prove quite fatal in the long run. Once diagnosed, it becomes imperative for the concerned individual to perform regular blood sugar tests. Now, this task can be achieved at home using a sugar test kit or paying a visit to the nearest lab.
The Difference –
A lab test for diabetes typically involves drawing blood from the forearm, which is then subjected to a chemical reaction to fetch the results. On the other hand, glucometer uses a highly complex test strip made of an enzyme (glucose oxidase), mediator, and electrical circuit. Subsequently, an electrochemical process converts glucose into electrons that provide the sugar level in a blood sample.
The Science of Precision: How Diabetes Testing Machines Ensure Accurate Readings
As mentioned in the introduction, home-based blood sugar devices are used for regular monitoring of diabetes. It is a handy tool that is affordable, accessible and doesn’t upset the user’s daily routine. Because its design and process fundamentals are based on NanoTechnology, it tends to offer slightly inaccurate results. This inaccuracy may vary depending on the brand, the technology incorporated, and the quality of materials used in the strip. Of course, user abuse / improper handling also matters. We will come to that later. Labs or pathology centres typically exploit industrial medical equipment which guarantees superlative results. So, if your lab-derived diabetes test reflects 150 mg/dL, your diabetes check machine reading may hover anywhere between 135 mg/dL and 160 mg/dL. Therefore, doctors advise regular lab tests and “At Home” monitoring.
Continuous Quality Control: Ensuring Accurate Measurements Over Time
Ensuring accurate measurements over a period of time demands a serious approach, as well as keeping a strict vigil on the quality of the device and the test strips. Leading regulatory bodies such as the FDA recommend glucometers with an analytical error of less than 10%. This leeway is offered due to the very design and complexity of portable blood sugar machines. Devices that provide highly fluctuating results can push your glycaemic goals/treatment into a tizzy. Incorrect or inaccurate values will lead to short and long-term medical complications. Thankfully, most of the popular glucometer brands adhere to this recommendation (10% permissible glucometer error).
User-Friendly Design: How Intuitive Interfaces Contribute to Reliability
Devices with intuitive designs and user-friendly interfaces have nothing to do with sugar check machine price, as most brands offer ergonomic products with large displays, crystal clear fonts, and superlative contrast. All this leads to impeccable readability. There is no way the user can misinterpret or misread, including aged people. Well-thought form factor simply means devices can be held in one hand without the fear of dropping it.
Addressing Environmental Factors: How Temperature and Storage Affect Accuracy
People with diabetes need to understand that glucometer strips are highly sensitive to light, moisture, temperature, altitude, and human handling. Apart from this, your own metabolic activity and current geographic location can make a difference in your diabetes test results. So, what is the solution? You need to store test strips in a cool, dark place. Make sure you do not touch the test strip while testing. Additionally, wash your hands before you initiate the test. If you are on a holiday, especially venturing into frigid, high altitudes, make sure your device is calibrated for this situation. Never run a diabetes test when you are perspiring, running a fever, or dehydrated. It can throw up inaccurate results. Incidentally, high temperatures (hot and cold) can also affect the device’s functions.
Importance of Regular Maintenance: Keeping Diabetes Testing Machines in Peak Condition
Glucose testers/devices are susceptible to malfunction. Regular maintenance is the key to optimal performance in terms of accuracy. So, how do you keep your machine in peak condition? Here are some tips –
- Clean the sensor/lens with a soft cloth dipped in ordinary, lukewarm water or dedicated cleaning liquid. Remember, a high percentage of alcohol can reduce the sensitivity of the lens.
- Check the batteries regularly. Drained batteries (even one, in case your glucometer uses two or more) can display incorrect readings. At times, faulty batteries may cause the digits on the display screen to be slightly blurry. This may result in misinterpretation.
- Recalibrate if there is a vast difference between your blood sugar machine and lab test.
- Take it to your nearest service centre if you feel something is not right.
Reliable test results help people with diabetes achieve their glycaemic goals and even reverse them. This requires people with diabetes/family members/healthcare support team to cross-check the reading of the concerned glucometer with a lab report. And therefore, timely lab tests are crucial in diabetes monitoring. Maintenance of the device is equally important. A malfunctioning sugar test machine can mislead you / your doctor and thereby push your treatment regime in a different direction. Users also need to understand that sugar machine price is not important. What is important is the device’s quality and readability.
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