Posted by Jeff Mendelsohn
January 12th, 2011 52 Comments
The debate between using a human meter vs the AlphaTrak has been floating around the internet for a while now. Most of the theories I’ve read about is the dog/cat meters just cost more due to the fact that the meter is for a dog/cat (just a marketing ploy). But I’ve never seen any hard evidence that proves a human meter works just as well as the AlphaTrak for testing glucose levels on a dog.
As recommended by my Vet I’ve always used the AlphaTrak. As an inexpensive way of testing glucose levels for patients they tried several human meters before the AlphaTrak came out. The human meters all provided a rough accuracy but not the accuracy of the AlphaTrak.
To get to the bottom of this debate and see if human meters do stand up to the AlphaTrak I’ll be conducting tests and write a series of article over the next coming months. My friends over at American Diabetes Wholesale have sent me four meters to start testing with. FreeStyle Lite (made by Abbott, same as the AlphaTrak), Glucocard Vital, Nova Max Link, and Bayer Contour.
Unboxing and Reviewing.
After reading the instructions and testing out each meter, all of them pretty much function the same way. The test strip is inserted into the meter, meter turns on, blood sample is applied to the test strip, and then wait for results. All measurements are done in mg/dl. Some have advanced features such as downloadable results, meal timers, and more but I won’t be going into any of that.
I was able to do an all day test of Bender with the AlphaTrak and FreeStyle Lite. Here are the results.
These results don’t tell the whole story. This is the first test and I was only able to test 5 times. With that in mind… Looking at the results the FreeStyle lite is off by roughly 50-75 points at these numbers. But what about higher numbers? or really low numbers?
You will also see I’m missing a few things. I wasn’t able to get enough blood from Bender after exercising him to test both the AlphaTrak and FreeStyle Lite. I try not to lance Bender too much, and after several tries I just stop. Especially since I only lance his ears. Which is why there isn’t a reading at 6:00pm when I feed Bender. I couldn’t get any blood out of him.
I will continue to test Bender over the coming months with all the meters vs my AlphaTrak and post the results. In the mean time if you have any results for the AlphaTrak vs other meters please share them.