Periodically, I run out of my One Touch test strips, although my insurance allotment gives me seven per day. So, I decided to try several of the lower-cost test strips currently on the market. I settled on Relion Prime, True Metrix, GenUltimate and, of course, One Touch. All of these are available either at Walmart, Amazon and probably elsewhere.
The GenUltimate strips work in a One Touch meter, but require a separate coding. So, I used two different One Touch Ultra Mini's for testing.
I did everything I could think of to reduce any variabilities beyond the test strips:
Step 1: Open each vial and extract a strip, then close as quickly as possible.Humidity was moderate, in an air-conditioned space.
Step 2: Insert all test strips into their respective meters and verify initialization sequence.
Step 3: Create a multi-drop pool of blood in a clean spoon. Usually this involved multiple finger sticks on the same finger. Mix these multi-drops together for a uniform pool.
Step 4: Quickly dip each test strip into the pool and verify countdown.
I ran six paired tests, selecting times when BS was at different levels. Here are my results:
Prime: 155, 122, 154, 223, 126, 95
T Metrix 165, 132, 144, 232, 131, 92
Gen Ult 158, 131, 147, 220, 127, 101
One Tch 169, 133, 151, 240, 128, 96
Average 162, 130, 149, 229, 128, 96
It's difficult to draw conclusions on a limited set of tests and without a gold standard of accuracy as reference. But I was pleased to see that almost all tests landed very close to the average. Of course, that average could be significantly above or below the true value. But short of having multiple blood draws analyzed by a lab, I can't know that. And perhaps I just got lucky with the vials I happened to pick for this test. Any other thoughts or conclusions would be appreciated.
I hasten to add that my sugars have regularly been toward the low end of these tests. I pre-carbed prior to exercise yesterday and didn't guess very well. Since that really raised my BS, I decided to include a couple of these tests.