Product Review: Telcare Blood Glucose Meter

A few weeks ago I received the new Telcare Blood Glucose Meter. This meter is different from most blood glucose meters in that it in a cellular-enabled glucose meter. The meter wirelessly transmits all blood glucose readings to an individual’s account which can be viewed online or in the Telcare iDevice app.

I don’t think I have ever used a meter long enough to change the battery. It was quite a new experience for me to have a meter that needed to be CHARGED before use!

charging the meter

After giving the meter the full 12 hour charge, I used the two control solutions as directed. Speaking of new experiences, I can’t remember the last time I used the control solution provided with the meter. If anyone needs tiny bottles of blue fluid, I’ve got you covered.

control solution

One of my favorite aspects of this meter was the size of the blood sample required. Far less that the swimming pool that the One Touch Ultra strips require.

On the other hand, I really don’t care how much blood a meter requires if it is accurate. Comparing the results to my other meters and to my DexCom graph, it seemed to track accurately.

matching results

Since I am fully integrated into the iCult, I was able to view my results in the MyTelcare app. The reports are very clear and it is easy to review your results by time of day, glucose level, or the average for each tag (before breakfast, after lunch, before snack, etc).

logging in to the appTelcare appa look at the stats

In my early communication with TelCare it sounded like I would receive the meter before my last endocrinologist appointment. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but as my doctor’s office begins to communicate more online (they asked me for my e-mail address at my last appointment!) I think features like the ability to e-mail the results directly from the app or website will be a helpful communication tool.

TelCare sent me 100 strips for use with the meter, so I am still working through all the bells and whistles but wanted to share some of my initial feedback. I know I enjoyed reading Kerri’s, Joanne and Scott’s reviews and am always interested of the new products entering the diabetes market.

#notbes approves

Things I Like:

  • The amount of blood required for a test is quite small. Brian watched me test with the meter over the weekend and was shocked that a drop he was sure was too small actually produced a result.
  • The color monitor is clear and easy to read. Under each reading is a color-coded chart of the result. There is something comforting about seeing your result in a good range on the chart.
  • The battery life is impressive. I was worried about charging meter, but I think I’ve only done that once for the 70 or so strips that I have used.

Things I Don’t Like:

  • 30 seconds. You have 30 seconds to tag your results. Sometimes I am testing, talking, typing, and taking the first few bites of my food at the same time. If I’m not paying attention, I miss the opportunity to tag my result and that cannot be edited (if you are manually adding results in the app from another meter, those tags CAN be edited).

tagging countdown

  • Can you hear me now? I think I might live in a dead zone. According to the map, I should have had coverage. However, more often than not, my meter was not connected to the mobile network. That alone was not necessarily a problem because I could upload the results later (manually) when the meter could find service. The actual problem was the clock on the meter. I am guessing the time updates automatically on the mobile network (just like our cell phones) so when the meter could not find service the time would not update. I could have waited a few minutes for the meter to find the network, but that doesn’t really fit into my testing lifestyle.

note the time differencenote the time difference
results not sent to server

  • The strips are not currently covered by my insurance company. The preferred brands of strips are available for $0 copay on my insurance so a meter would have to ride in on a unicorn and provide a cupcake with every result for me to pay any amount of money for test strips. You can see the cost for the strips and compare them to your current costs here.

Overall, I like the Telcare Blood Glucose meter and especially the integrated app. If I did not use a insulin pump that stored my results and allowed me to send the results to my doctor, I could see the ease of communication as a large benefit for a person with diabetes and their health care provider. As more meters and meter companies enter the market, it is definitely going to be the value-added features in logging and communication that will determine the success of the product.

Disclosure: I was provided the meter and 100 strips by Telcare for my personal review. I was not asked to write a post and all opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.

basically the same size as my phone


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