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VINE VOICEon June 6, 2007
Pros: sometimes low cost or even free with a coupon or other deal.

Cons: Needs a larger drop of blood compared to other glucometer models. Thus, more bleeding.

The word Basic in the name, One Touch Basic, is a good description of this glucometer (i.e. blood glucose monitoring system). It works OK.

It is probably reliable and accurate, based on its reputation. I did not use it for long, so I cannot say from personal experience how reliable it is long-term. It looks and feels sturdy.

However, it requires a larger drop of blood, in order to work, compared to other models. Speaking of other models, please don't confuse the One Touch BASIC with other One Touch models. The same company makes other One Touch glucometers, such as the One Touch ULTRA model, which is superior to this One Touch BASIC.

The larger the amount of blood that a glucometer needs, the larger the wound needed to produce the blood, and the more likely it is to hurt, in my opinion. On the other hand, the newer deluxe glucometers that require very, very tiny blood drops *may* have a higher risk of inaccuracy. If you are a fragile sort of diabetic, high accuracy will be more important. In contrast, if you are the type who is reluctant to do blood glucose testing, and frequently skip it, perhaps a less thirsty glucometer will improve your compliance.

This One Touch BASIC glucometer requires a blood drop of size 10 microliters, which is a little smaller than the head of an old-fashioned thumbtack.

In comparison, the One Touch ULTRA requires just 1 microliter of blood; in other words only one-tenth as much.

Some other comparisons:

The Accu-Chek Advantage requires 4 microliters.

The (Bayer) Glucometer Elite requires 2 microliters.

The Therasense Freestyle requires merely 1/3 of a microliter.

I got these microliter numbers from the back of a Freestyle box, by the way.

My former job involved using a keyboard all day, so I did not want sore finger tips. Thus, the size of the blood sample was important to me.

If pricking your fingers does not bother you much, this glucometer may be fine for you. It is economical, and seems sturdy.

This is not the worst glucometer by far. Although basic, this is still a big improvement over the glucometers of, say, 12 years ago.

When choosing which glucometer to buy, consider the following, but not necessarily in this order:

(1) the cost of test strips (refills).

(2) the preferences of your health insurance company.

(3) How important is accuracy to you? The answer will be related to: How severe is your diabetes? How out-of-control does your diabetes get? Has it required trips to the Emergency Room?

Your insurance company may charge little or no co-pay for some brands of test strips, and higher for other brands. A large insurance company is likely to make deals with 1 or 2 manufacturers of glucometers and test strips.

If your insurance is through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, you *may* be able to get a free or low-cost One Touch ULTRA or an Accu-Check glucometer. Other brands may require a pre-certification hassle and special permission, or just more co-pay $$ from you.

The One Touch Basic is sometimes available for free, or at a deep discount, with a coupon or other promotion, regardless of your insurance company.

An unimportant factor, when choosing a glucometer, is the lancing device for pricking one's finger. You don't have to use the same brand/model lancing device as is enclosed with the glucometer. Any lancing device will do, as long as you can adjust it enough to draw the right amount of blood required by your glucometer. Some great glucometers come with crappy lancers. It is possible to buy lancing devices separately at low cost. My first was given to me by a diabetes educator/RN.

Another on-going cost is the replacement/refill lances (those things that look like tiny needles) for the lancing device.
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