This year, the name of the game is convenience
Onetime breakthroughs--like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors--have been fine-tuned and improved. These upgraded devices don't just test your blood glucose levels or administer insulin, they store data, graph your progress, provide nutrition information for hundreds of common foods, send you text-message alerts, calculate insulin doses, and even make it easier for your doctor to understand how you're managing your diabetes. Other new products take old standbys--like syringes and lancets--and apply today's technology so you can do the job with little discomfort, pain, or inconvenience. Read on to learn about the innovative ways these medical advances can aid your management.
Blood Glucose Monitors
FreeStyle Freedom Lite (Abbott Diabetes Care) The latest FreeStyle meter has larger buttons and a yellow port for strips intended to make usage easier for people with vision impairment. The Freedom Lite doesn't require coding; maintains a log of 7-, 14-, and 30-day glucose averages; stores 400 glucose readings in its memory; and uses the same test strips as the FreeStyle Lite monitor.
WaveSense KeyNote Pro (AgaMatrix) This smaller-than-average meter can be used for alternate site testing, and has a test-strip ejector and rubber grips designed for easy handling. It provides 14-, 30-, and 90-day averages and stores 300 tests in its memory.
WaveSense Presto (AgaMatrix) The Presto features a backlight for testing in dim lighting, on-screen graphing, no coding, alternate site testing, and a memory of 300 prior tests. The monitor provides averages for 14-, 30-, and 90-day glucose levels.
Glucocard X-meter (Arkray) The X-meter has automatic coding, offers alternate site testing, uses a blood sample size of 0.3 microliters, and holds a memory of 360 past tests.
Advocate Redi-Code (Diabetic Supply of Suncoast) This coding-free monitor has audio features to help the visually impaired user. A Spanish-language audio version is also available.
Prodigy Voice (Diagnostic Devices) The Prodigy Voice is fully audio for the blind and visually impaired. The monitor uses no coding, has automatic turn-on with test strip insertion, and sports a button for repeating the last message.
GlucoCom Code Free (GlucoCom) This coding-free device uses a 0.7-microliter blood sample and allows for alternate site testing. The monitor computes 7-, 14-, 21-, 28-, 60-, and 90-day averages and stores 450 past glucose readings in its memory.
Eclipse (Infopia) This monitor uses a 1-microliter blood sample to determine blood glucose levels in 5 seconds. The device can average 7- to 99-day glucose readings and suggest meals and activities based on test results.
Element (Infopia ) Infopia's Element monitor uses a 0.3-microliter sample of blood and gives a reading in 3 seconds. The device automatically reads strips' coding and ejects a strip once the glucose reading is complete. It also suggests meals and activities based on test results.
Evolution (Infopia) The Evolution uses a 0.3-microliter drop of blood and performs a reading in 3 seconds. It also automatically codes, ejects strips when glucose reading is complete, and suggests meals and activities based on test results.
GlucoPhone (Infopia ) This device both a glucose meter and a fully capable cell phone. In addition to checking blood glucose levels, the monitor will text message test results to other cell phones, such as that of a parent or school nurse.
One Touch Ultra Link (LifeScan) This monitor wirelessly transmits results to the MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump. It also features before-and-after meal averages.
Nova Max (Nova Biomedical/Sanvita) This coding-free monitor uses a 0.3-microliter drop of blood, calculates results in 5 seconds, and allows for alternate site testing. It stores 400 tests in its memory.
Nova Max Link (Nova Biomedical/Sanvita) This monitor doesn't require coding, uses a 0.3-microliter blood sample, and allows for alternate site testing. The Max Link also communicates with Medtronic Paradigm insulin pumps.
Continuous Glucose Monitor
Freestyle Navigator (Abbott Diabetes Care) This system includes a sensor that can be worn for up to 5 days on the arm or abdomen. The sensor sends readings to the receiver wirelessly at a distance of up to 10 feet. The receiver features customizable low and high blood glucose alarms as well as trend arrows to illustrate the direction blood glucose is heading.
One Touch Ping (Animas) The One Touch Ping insulin pump uses wireless technology to communicate with a small, remote monitor. The handheld remote can calculate and deliver a bolus, monitor the basal rate, and compute carbohydrates. The pump has a flat-panel color screen and comes in five colors.
Lancets and Lancing Devices
MPD Lancing Device (Medical Plastic Devices) Medical Plastic Devices produces two sizes of lancing devices: a compact 3-inch and a regular 5-inch, each with five customizable settings.
Nova Max Sureflex Lancing Device (Nova Biomedical/Sanvita) This device features seven depth settings and comes with end caps for testing alternate sites such as the palm and forearm.
Nova Max Sureflex Lancets (Nova Biomedical/Sanvita) These 30-gauge lancets are for use with Nova's Sureflex Lancing Device.
Pelikan Sun Electronic Lancing Device (Pelikan Technologies) This lancing device has an electronic component to deliver a smooth, precise finger prick designed to minimize pain and bruising. The small, boxlike gadget contains a changeable 50-lancet disk.
Symlin Pen (Amylin Pharmaceuticals) This prefilled, disposable pen dispenses the drug Symlin. It's available in two dosages: the Symlin Pen 60, which can deliver 15, 30, 45, or 60 micrograms of the medication, and the Symlin Pen 120, which delivers 60 or 120 micrograms.
Humalog KwikPen (Eli Lilly) This prefilled, disposable pen is for use with Humalog insulin. It administers up to 60 units of insulin and can be dialed up or down to increase or lessen a dose.
Aimsco Ultra Thin II Insulin Pen Needles (Delta Hi-Tech) These pen needles come in two sizes--29 gauge with a 12-millimeter (1/2-inch) needle and 31 gauge with an 8-millimeter (5/16-inch) needle--and are available in boxes of 100.
Clickfine Pen Needles (Can Am Care) These pen needles can be used with most diabetes pens. They are available in boxes of 50 or 100 in three sizes: 31 gauge with a 6-millimeter (1/4-inch) needle; 31 gauge with an 8-millimeter (5/16-inch) needle; and 29 gauge with a 12-millimeter (1/2-inch) needle. (Can Am Care's products are also sold as store brands in chains including Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Kroger.)
PiC Pen Needles (Medical Plastic Devices) PiC needles work with most pens and come in packs of 100 in four sizes: 29 gauge with a 12-millimeter (1/2-inch) needle; 30 gauge with an 8-millimeter (5/16-inch) needle; 31 gauge with an 8-millimeter needle; and 32 gauge with an 8-millimeter needle.
PiC Insumed Syringes (Medical Plastic Devices) These syringes come with a magnifying lens that's placed on the syringe to aid with dosage reading. The disposable syringes are available in 0.3, 0.5, and 1 milliliter with a needle length of either 8 or 12.7 millimeters and a needle gauge of 29, 30, or 31.
Thinpro Insulin Syringes (Terumo) Thinpro syringes are available in 28 to 31 gauge, hold 3/10, 1/2, or 1 milliliter of insulin, and use needle lengths of either 1/2 inch or 3/8 inch.