By: David Mendosa
Not everyone with diabetes leads an activelifestyle and tests often. But my guess is thatthe readers of this magazine are on the gomore than most people and monitor theirblood glucose when they are away fromhome.
If you are a member of this group of activetesters, you already have at least one bloodglucose meter system. But until now,nobody made a meter specifically for you.
A New Meter for Active Users
Home Diagnostics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has justbegun to market a meter for active testers to use whenthey are away from home. In July 2005, the U.S. Food andDrug Administration gave the company its 510(k) stamp of approval for the Sidekick Blood Glucose Test System.
The Sidekick is not only the world’s smallest diabetes testing system, it is also one of the easiest to use. It is approximately 1¼" in diameter and ½" thick. It comes with a vial of 50 test strips, which means that the total package is just 2½" long. The Sidekick also carries a small price. It will regularly retail for $34.99, but for the next few months, Home Diagnostics will offer a $5 rebate, so the net price is a remarkable$29.99. That’s for both the meter and 50 teststrips—much less than strips alone usuallycost.
Just Throw It Away
Another remarkable feature is that this isthe first disposable meter. After testing 50times, you just throw away the meter andthe empty vial, then go to the drugstore fora new Sidekick system.
The company’s product literature says thatthis is an “all-in-one blood glucose testingsystem.” Not quite. It doesn’t include alancing device or lancets.
“Including a lancing device would makeit more expensive,” Home Diagnosticsspokesperson Adam Sohn told me. “Besides,just about everyone already has a lancingdevice.”
The Sidekick package does include glucosecontrol solution and a pouch. The pouch isbig enough for the Home Diagnostics GentleDraw lancing device—or the even shorterFreeStyle lancing device—as well as a fewlancets.
And that’s not all. For a meter system thisaffordable, you might not expect the verylatest in technology. But the Sidekick offersthe four most important features: a smallblood sample of 1 microliter, alternative sitetesting on the forearm, test results in lessthan 10 seconds and no coding required.
Besides the Sidekick system,Home Diagnostics currently sells three other meters:
The TrueTrack Smart System is thecompany’s flagship meter, with all thebells and whistles.
The TrackEase, available only throughmail order and healthcare distributors,requires a blood sample of only 1microliter and returns results in 10seconds or less, just like the Sidekickand the TrueTrack, but it lacks a dataport.
The Prestige IQ offers a large, easy-to-read display for testers with dexterityor visual limitations.
For more information, call(800) 342-7226, or visit www.homediagnostics.com