Diabetes Products on Our Radar This Winter
A New View
Fitbit wearers, rejoice: Soon you’ll be able to view glucose data on the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch fitness tracker (above). The system, which will launch some time this year (a specific date was unavailable at press time), will display glucose data from the Dexcom G5 Mobile continuous glucose monitor (CGM) on the Fitbit Ionic screen. Current smartwatches that display data from the G5 Mobile are the Apple Watch and select Android Wear watches. With glucose and fitness data side by side, the device aims to help people with diabetes monitor and manage their glucose levels discreetly on the go. Though the Dexcom G5 Mobile requires a prescription, there will be no extra cost to link it to the Fitbit Ionic (which is currently sold for $299.95 at fitbit.com).
Also in the works: an app for the Fitbit Ionic from blood glucose meter company One Drop. Currently, users can sync Fitbit data to their One Drop accounts. But this year (when, exactly, hasn’t been revealed), they’ll be able to get One Drop data on their Fitbit Ionic.
So long, finger sticks. You can now get glucose readings without lancing device pricks from Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. The device, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a replacement for finger-stick glucose checks, includes a sensor (about the size of two stacked quarters) that measures glucose levels every minute and a reader that displays glucose levels as number values as well as trends. Unlike traditional continuous glucose monitors, the FreeStyle Libre doesn’t communicate continuously with the reader device; you have to scan the sensor to get a reading. The system is available for purchase with and without insurance, and the out-of-pocket cost is expected to be significantly lower than for other CGMs. Find out more at freestylelibre.us.
Roche Diabetes Care and Blink Health have teamed up to offer a Patient Access Program with price cuts on certain Accu-Chek products, including meters, lancets, and test strips. This is how it works: Sign up at blinkhealth.com, and you’ll receive a discount “card” by text or e-mail to be used as proof of purchase, plus a free Accu-Chek Guide meter. You’ll pay for your discounted supplies on the website and then bring your doctor’s prescription and discount card for pickup at your local pharmacy (40,000 pharmacies, including Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, and Kmart, participate in the program). A 50-count box of Accu-Chek Guide test strips will cost $19.99 (they’re $29.99 without the program), and the more you buy, the more you save. But remember: You’ll need to pay for the supplies out of pocket, so first do the math to determine whether you’d pay less with insurance.