I recently switched around blood sugar medications again and had to start monitoring blood sugar levels very closely again, as with any new diabetic treatment. So my 5 year old Aviva meter is looking pretty tired. The Infrared data transfer connection to a PC or Mac kind of gives away its age. It’s been a good meter and the Clix lancing system is really excellent.
But…my iPhone has become my personal data center and data access device. I want medical stuff there too.
So I bought the iBGStar system last week. It’s a very small meter that can operate fully independent of an iPhone and the iBGStar iPhone app. Very small test strips too. But the beauty is plugging it into the bottom of your iPhone, launching the app, and seeing the test readings automatically download. You can specify when the readings were taken relative to meals, record carbs consumed at that time as a result of your reading and record insulin injections taken at that time as well. (You can also enter any of these three manually, with or without the other two.) Then you get a summary log, an expanded log, a nice scatter plot in mg/dl (US units on my device) and also pull up a statistical summary with averages as well as STDDEV. And to top it off, it will compose a nicely formatted rich email summary, with attached CSV file, that can you can send yourself or your physician. The CSV file is a nice touch, because my Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group system will not allow emailing doctors, but only messaging them through the private patient portal, with support for attachments though.
And the whole zippered kit is only 3x3 inches.
Drawback? It uses the 7 year old proprietary iPhone/Pod/Pad connector. Is Apple really going to ditch that with iPhone 5 and future Pods/Pads, and adopt some sort of miniUSB? That’s a risk, but I’m sure there will be plenty of adapter dongles. Who knows, Apple may keep the old connector and add miniUSB at the same time (I doubt it though). But the unit does operate independently of the iPhone and stores a couple hundred readings in local memory, so you don’t have to be embarrassed by letting your dongle hang out in public when you sync the device.
Walgreens sells the system for $75. Test strips are expensive, but if your insurance won’t cover them, there is a McKesson-backed loyalty card that limits your cost to $20 per bottle of 50 strips. You have to register the device to get the discount card.