iBGStar Blood Glucose Monitoring System
This device is a bit close to my heart because both my father and mother had type-2 diabetes and I will probably too at some point, but I remember how they checked their sugar. They did it often, as was prescribed, but they didn’t really log it or anything to understand trends and just how bad or good they did have it under control. But now the more technical generation of diabetics have a useful new tool that works with their iPhones to not only check the now, but to see over a period of time, exactly what is going on with the disease. The item is the iBGSTAR Blood Glucose Monitor, which just came on the market last month.
iBGStar, which won FDA approval late last year, uses the standard approach, by pricking one’s finger with a BGStar test strip. It requires only a tiny amount of blood to be accurate and can test your level in only 6 seconds. But what makes this one different than the hundreds of others out there is that it plugs into the iPhone or iPod Touch. Perhaps a more exact description would be it becomes part of your iDevice. Rather than just a USB cord that plugs into the Apple, the iBGSTAR actually hooks up through the 30 pin connector and serves as a tiny one inch wide attachment to the phone itself. There is no screen, common on these things. It leaves that to the Apple, which through a free app on iTunes will take the data from the sample and display it. It does have a small one line screen on it to display the actual number, but most of the action happens on the iPhone itself. I loved the whole blood swirling pattern while it’s working on it. You don’t have to leave the attachment plugged in. It can be taken off simply and stored for the next time you need it and you don’t have to worry about batteries dying as it is powered by the iPhone itself.
Now the one thing that every diabetic knows, or should know, especially in type-1 diabetes where blood sugar levels can vary greatly requiring shots of insulin, that control is the name of the game. And the nice thing about the iBGStar is that it records this information into everything from just a list to a graph, along with nutritional information and other inputs from the user, to be able to get a clear cut look at just where they are and what has been working, dietary and exercise wise, and what hasn’t. The information, easily available through the app, is also useful to medical personnel like the person’s doctor or nutritionist. These types of displays give a much more accurate reading on controlling the disease than the spot checks that most people do, concerned with what is going on right then.
Even though it is okayed in the US, we couldn’t find anyone selling them here in the states, but you can purchase one from our friends across the pond at Boots.com or at a Boots location in the UK for around $76 US (48 Pounds UK). But buying it overseas may make it ineligible to be covered under Medicare/Medicaid. So for those on those programs, you may have to wait until they find a US distributor.
The iBGStar Blood Glucose Monitoring System really is a good thing, and although we hope they might work on a painless one like some of the new monitors being released, this is a great start with the potential to save a lot of lives.