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Diabetic Test Strip Coding - A Question of Accuracy
DescriptionGS-85 Blood Sugar System How important is the way a glucose meter takes readings? In a recent press release, American Diabetes Services (ADS) endorsed Ascensia test strips, saying they significantly reduced inaccuracies in glucose readings. The other meters they tested weren't necessarily inaccurate when used correctly, but both One Touch and Freestyle glucose meters required test strip coding, while Ascensia's test strips require no coding. Why should this make enough of a difference to cause the ADS to take notice?
What Is Coding?
Most glucose meters use a plastic test strip dosed with glucose oxidase. These strips can vary from batch to batch, and most test strips will have a code or a chip for the user to enter before using the meter with the new batch of strips. Entering the code calibrates the glucose meter and the diabetic test strips so that the reading will be accurate, based on the amount of glucose oxidase on the strips in the package.
However, if the user forgets to recode the meter when he or she begins to use a new box of test strips, or if the user enters the code improperly, the readings will be incorrect. The inaccuracies vary, but the readings can be off by as much as 43%. For people actively managing diabetes, an incorrect meter can mean taking the wrong dose of insulin, which significantly increases that person's risk of hypoglycaemia and other diabetes-related complications.
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