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It’s news whenever a new blood glucose meter becomes available. Two new blood glucose meters from a new company is even bigger news. The biggest news is that one of these new meters works with a device that automatically uploads your readings to family or healthcare professionals—all without using a computer.
The meters are the GlucoLeader Enhance and the GlucoLeader Value from HMD BioMedical of Titusville, Florida. The Enhance has respectable stats. It requires only a 1.5-microliter blood sample and provides results in less than 15 seconds. In my informal evaluation, its results correlated well with the meter I regularly use. The GlucoLeader Value requires a 3-microliter blood sample, but it is just as fast as the Enhance.
Works With Virtual Tracker
Even more important than the GlucoLeader Enhance’s superior stats is that it works with the company’s Virtual Tracker, which includes a modem without the need of a computer. Just plug it into a phone line and leave it connected, just like an answering machine. When you are ready to upload your readings, plug the GlucoLeader Enhance into the Virtual Tracker and send your readings with the press of a button. It automatically connects to a toll-free number.
“This is the first meter that will notify whoever you authorize to let them know if your readings are beyond the parameters you have set,” says HMD BioMedical CEO Bryan Soward.
Nothing Else Like It on the Market
From my discussions with Soward, it seems that the prices have just been set. The company sells to distributors, who then supply dealers, who ultimately sell it to people with diabetes. The suggested retail prices are $69.95 for the GlucoLeader Enhance meter kit with Virtual Tracker, $69.95 for the GlucoLeader Value meter kit and $39.95 for a box of 50 GlucoLeader Enhance or GlucoLeader Value test strips.
There is nothing else like the Virtual Tracker on the market now. Yet the concept is remarkably similar to a wonderful little modem called the LifeChart Reporter that I tested in 1999 for an article on telemedicine. This device, which connected some meters to a phone line without using a computer, hasn’t been available for years. When I mentioned it to Soward, he wasn’t aware of it. So the Virtual Tracker sounds like an example of parallel discovery—good minds thinking alike. That’s news.
The GlucoMON Alternative
The nearest alternative now available to the Virtual Tracker is a device called the GlucoMON, which I reviewed in the August 2004 issue of Diabetes Health (“GlucoMON: In Touch When You Can’t Be,” page 58). The GlucoMON is a cradle for a meter that automatically and wirelessly sends meter readings to selected recipients. Diabetech, a company in Dallas, Texas, makes the device and manages the service.
But sales of the GlucoMON are currently on hold, says Diabetech CEO Kevin McMahon. The Food and Drug Administration has told the company that the device requires a pre-market notification—510(k) approval. McMahon expects that the GlucoMON will be back on the market in the fall.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.