Evaluation Background: Smartphone-Enabled Portable Blood Glucose Meters

May 17, 2017 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background for our Evaluations of smartphone-enabled portable blood glucose meters, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. Learn how the technology is used, which specs are important, and what factors we test for. Also review our latest product ratings and ECRI Institute's data describing hospitals' interest in each vendor.

Smartphone-enabled portable blood glucose meters are used by patients with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose concentration throughout the day. The smartphone is used to log and track blood glucose readings, and to communicate with clinicians, such as diabetes educators, as necessary.

This is a new technology that is changing swiftly. It is being developed both by traditional portable blood glucose meter vendors as well as by new vendors who are primarily in the "quantified self" space, who make activity trackers and Bluetooth-connected scales, among other devices. The fundamental technology for analyzing blood glucose concentration from a fingerstick sample is relatively stable. The innovation is in additional features of the meter and new functionality enabled by the smartphone.

Smartphone-enabled portable blood glucose meters consist of the following components:

  1. Meter—Accepts and reads test strips to measure blood glucose from a blood sample

  2. Smartphone application—Manages the data generated by the meter (and in some...

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