Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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New Tools 2010

by Alwa A. Cooper

Despite the economic downturn, diabetes research and development continued in 2010, although fewer new drugs and products came on the market than in recent years. Manufacturers aimed to make blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections more comfortable with a new lancing device and a shorter pen needle. In blood glucose meters, a gaming system–compatible meter was released, with the goal of encouraging kids to monitor more frequently and learn how to manage their diabetes. The new drugs and devices included in this article were released after the publication of our 2009 round-up, or in some cases have projected release dates early in 2011. Contact information for each product manufacturer is included so you can find out more if you wish.

Blood glucose meters

Product: Didget

Manufacturer: Bayer
(800) 348-8100

What it does: The no-code Didget is designed to make diabetes self-management fun and rewarding for children. It comes packaged with a video game and is compatible with the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite gaming systems. The Didget also allows the user to connect to a password-protected online community, Didget World (http://didgetworld.us). Children win points for checking their blood glucose regularly and for reaching target blood glucose levels. These targets can be customized through the Didget World Web site, and points can be redeemed there to progress through the game.

The Didget requires a 0.6-microliter blood sample and delivers results in 5 seconds. The meter saves up to 480 results in its memory. The Didget also includes two testing levels: one for use with younger children, and one that includes more customizable features for older kids. Basic Mode (L1) provides a 14-day blood glucose average and a 7-day summary of high and low blood glucose readings. Advanced Mode (L2) offers the same features, as well as 7- and 30-day blood glucose averages, the ability to tag results as pre- or post-meal, and personalized blood glucose target levels, as well as a customizable reminder to check after-meal blood glucose. The Didget is not approved for alternate-site testing.

Availability: The Didget is available online at www.cvs.com, www.drugstore.com, www.walgreens.com, and www.walmart.com.

Fora D20 Fora G90

Product: Fora D20 and G90

Manufacturer: ForaCare, Inc.
(805) 498-8188

What it does: ForaCare’s D20 meter is a two-in-one blood glucose and blood pressure monitor that comes with an auto-inflating upper arm cuff. It displays heart rate and blood pressure information as well as blood glucose level. The D20 can keep up to 450 results, marked with date and time, in its memory and can calculate 7-, 14-, 21-, 28-, 60-, and 90-day averages. The meter also has a talking function that voices instructions and results in English or Spanish. The G90, which measures only blood glucose, uses an animated navigation menu of pictures in addition to words. The meter can also display charts of blood glucose trends. The G90 has a rechargeable battery and a one-touch strip ejection button that makes it possible to remove strips from the meter without touching them. It can store 400 results, which can be marked as pre- or postmeal.

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