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New Tools 2010

by Alwa A. Cooper

Test strips

FreeStyle Lite

Product: Freestyle and FreeStyle Lite (pictured above)

Manufacturer: Abbott
(888) 522-5226

What it does: The new FreeStyle and FreeStyle Lite test strips use an enzyme that prevents them from reacting to any sugar other than glucose, lowering the risk of an incorrect test result. Many other test strips use what is called the GDH-PQQ enzyme to measure blood glucose, but after reports of health problems linked to false high blood glucose readings in people being monitored with these strips, the FDA recommended last year that use of these strips be avoided in certain situations. To bypass the issue entirely, the Freestyle series of strips uses a GDH-FAD enzyme to determine blood glucose levels.

Availability: FreeStyle Lite test strips are available online and in pharmacies.

Injection aid


Product: Inject-Ease

Manufacturer: AmbiMedInc
(831) 475-1765

What it does: AmbiMed, Inc. has rereleased the Inject-Ease, which was originally manufactured by Palco Labs. Designed for people, especially children, who are afraid of needles or reluctant to perform injections, the Inject-Ease is a plastic housing that fits around BD 30-, 50-, or 100-unit disposable syringes. The user holds the Inject-Ease against the skin and presses a button to quickly insert the needle, reducing the risk of injections made more painful by hesitation or uncertain technique. Spacer rings on the injector allow for customizable depth of injections.

Availability: The Inject-ease is available at many online retailers.

Insulin pump

Paradigm REAL-Time

Product: MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time Revel System

Manufacturer: Medtronic
(866) 948-6633

What it does: The REAL-Time Revel System pairs either the Revel 523 or Revel 723 insulin pump with a glucose sensor. (The two pumps are identical, except that the Revel 523’s reservoir holds 176 units of insulin, and the Revel 723 holds up to 300 units. Both pumps can deliver insulin in increments of as small as 0.025 units per hour.) The glucose sensor is inserted into the abdomen at least two inches away from the pump cannula. It measures glucose levels in the interstitial fluid in the fatty tissue under the skin using a tiny electrode. The sensor is attached to a battery-operated transmitter, which sends information to the pump. As long as the transmitter is within 6 feet of the insulin pump, information from the glucose sensor will be displayed on the pump’s screen in real time. However, to use the pump’s bolus-calculator program to help determine how much insulin to administer, if any, the user must check his blood glucose level with a conventional meter and enter the result.

The REAL-Time Revel System offers a series of customizable alerts, including alerts for high or low glucose targets set by the user, and rate-of-change alerts that let the user know when his glucose level is changing quickly. The pump can also display 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-hour graphs of glucose levels. Both the infusion set for the pump and the glucose sensor must be replaced every three days.

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