Strips: Which End is Which?

There are two main techniques for identifying nonvisually which end of a strip goes into a blood glucose meter.

For almost all of the meters reviewed in this article, the strips are packaged with the insertion end at the top of the strip container. (The one exception is the Accu-Chek Voicemate’s Comfort Curve strip, which is packaged with the insertion end at the bottom of the container.) Therefore, if the strips have not been disturbed from the position in which they were packaged, the user can assume that he knows which end is up in the container, and which end is the insertion end.


Of course, if the strips have been accidentally spilled or otherwise changed from their original position, the user needs a different technique for determining which end is which. Fortunately, for all of the meters mentioned in this article, there is a tactile difference between the insertion end of the strip and the blood application end.

The Accu-Chek Comfort Curve strip, used with the Accu-Chek Voicemate meter, has a smooth, rounded indentation on the blood application end. Strips used with the OneTouch Basic have a triangular notch on the insertion end.

Strips for the Advocate, Prodigy, and SensoCard meters have a squared insertion end and a rounded or angled blood application end. People who have good tactile sensation in their fingers can feel this difference easily, but those whose fingers are numb from neuropathy may need to press the strip against the inside of their arm to feel the difference between the sharper, squared corners of the insertion end and the rounded or angled blood application end.