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Tools of the Trade 2011

by Alwa A. Cooper

Some of the biggest changes in the diabetes market in 2011 had to do with medicines — several long-awaited new drugs gained FDA approval, and important labeling changes were made to some diabetes drugs already on the market. In addition, new devices were introduced to make handling needles easier, improve blood glucose control, and provide more options to help people manage their diabetes.

Blood glucose meters

EasyMax Voice

Product: EasyMax Light, EasyMax Voice (second generation), EasyPlus T2

Manufacturer: Oak Tree International Holdings, Inc.

What it does: Oak Tree’s family of meters share many similarities: The no-code EasyMax Light, EasyMax Voice, and EasyPlus T2 all require a 0.6-microliter blood sample from the fingertips, palms, forearms, or thighs, and return results in 5 seconds. The EasyMax Light and EasyMax Voice can store up to 480 results, and the EasyPlus T2 can store up to 360 results. The EasyMax Voice has a talking function that offers bilingual (English and Spanish) instructions and results.

Availability: Oak Tree meters are available through durable medical equipment providers.

On Call Chosen

Product: On Call Chosen, On Call Plus

Manufacturer: ACON Laboratories, Inc.
(858) 875-8000

What it does: Both the On Call Chosen and the On Call Plus meters can hold up to 300 results in their memories and can calculate 7-, 14-, and 30-day blood glucose averages. (The On Call Chosen can also provide 60- and 90-day averages.) The On Call Plus requires a 1-microliter blood sample and delivers results in 10 seconds, and the On Call Chosen requires a 0.8-microliter blood sample and returns results in 5 seconds. Both meters can use samples drawn from the fingertips, palms, or forearms. The On Call Plus beeps when enough blood has been applied to the test strip, and again when the result is ready. The On Call Chosen allows the user the option of marking each result with the meal it preceded or followed (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and can be programmed to deliver reminders to check blood glucose. It also includes a strip ejector, so the user can remove test strips from the meter without having to touch them. Both meters must be coded with each new vial of test strips using a code chip.

Availability: On Call meters are available from many online retailers.

Telcare BGM

Product: Telcare BGM

Manufacturer: Telcare
(240) 396-6003

What it does: The no-code Telcare BGM requires a 0.8-microliter blood sample from the fingertips, palms, or forearms, and takes 6 seconds to return results. Each result can be tagged with one of ten tags about the time it was taken, and the meter can display a graph of where the result fell in relation to target blood glucose ranges and to the last result recorded. The meter itself can hold up to 300 results in its memory, but all results are wirelessly uploaded in real time to the password-protected MyTelcare.com portal, access to which is free with the meter.

Within MyTelcare, users can sort and graph every blood glucose reading ever taken with the meter in a number of ways, including by time of day and pre- and post-meal. Users can also set reminders in MyTelcare for the meter to deliver, as well as blood glucose targets. They can also give health-care professionals or family members access to their MyTelcare account, allowing them to provide feedback and encouragement. People with iPhones can also take advantage of a mobile version of the MyTelcare portal by downloading a free app, available at www.telcare.com.

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