I love technology, don’t you? But sometimes technology defeats people. What if there’s a blood glucose meter that not only hooks into your iPhone, but is a complete no-brainer to use? The iBG*Star© Blood Glucose Meter is just such a seamless piece of technology and anyone, even the technology-challenged, could use it!
The iBG*Star© is about to be released in Australia (around September 2012). I know lots of people already who can’t wait for it to hit the market! I was lucky enough to obtain one for review, so I need to state that I was given one, but with absolutely no provisos on how I’d review it.
The iBG*Star© integrates with an iPhone App of the same name iBGStar. Completely free to download from the iTunes app store, and functions even without the meter if you want to enter your test results manually. It also has a section for notes and some pre-entered times – pre-meal, post meal, night etc. You can enter your carbs and insulin taken as well. The graphs, which include a Trend Chart, Logbook and statistics, are incredibly handy. It would most certainly suit anyone not on insulin as well.
With the iBG*Star© meter, it’s an even more perfect combination!
I unpacked mine today.
This is the back of the box the iBG*Star© box. It’s full of everything you’d need to be fully equipped for a blood glucose test anywhere! You can see on the box that mine is in mmol/L, the blood glucose measurement used everywhere except the USA. (I’m in Australia.)
Here’s what’s inside…
It’s all there – the meter, finger pricker, lancets, control solution, strips and so on.
At first glance you’d wonder how a blood glucose meter could be so small. It’s seriously tiny! It’s about 5.5 cm across by 1.75cm deep (not counting the part that fits into the iPhone).
I unpacked mine while having a coffee at a local cafe. No instructions needed, although there are instructions included in the box. If you’ve ever done a blood glucose test, you won’t need the instructions! Could they have made it any easier?
It’s an ingenious design, super lightweight, and means there’s one less bulky thing to carry around in a regular diabetes kit. We all know how that works… you end up needing the one thing you’ve left at home! So you carry it all, everywhere.
The iBG*Star© meter I received had already been fully charged up, so all I did was take out the meter, click it into where I’d normally put my iPhone charger, and away I went. Usually it would take a few hours to charge it before first use.
You don’t have to have the iBG*Star© meter connected to the iPhone to do a test and you don’t have to have the app open even if it’s connected. Once you do open the app, the iBG*Star app will update with any tests still waiting to sync on the meter.
I got out a strip, inserted it – it’s fairly easy to figure out which way they go – and I did a test. I tested with my trusty MultiClix, but will put a lancet in the iBG*Star© finger pricker later and see how it goes.
The screen, like all screens that are not backlit, is hard to read in the sun. Nearly all blood glucose meters, some insulin pumps, most mobile phones and anything with that kind of screen is notorious for being unreadable in the sun, even when they are backlit, so that’s not a criticism, just a fact of life. But no worries with the iBG*Star© – if you have the app open, the result comes up immediately. It’s in a large font and very readable! I could read it without my glasses (2.5s) and usually I can’t read a thing without them.
Now that I’m inside, it’s easy to read the meter, but I’m tending to look at the result on the app, which is dead simple to see, even for me, without glasses.
After you insert your test strip, the screen of the iBG*Star© meter shows you a moving strip and a teardrop. It’s ready for some blood! Incredibly fast too!
Here’s a short movie of a test I did…
There is an audible low-toned ding-dong when the test has finished. Nice!
To write a really long review about such and advanced yet incredibly user-friendly piece of technology is nearly impossible! There’s really nothing bad to say about it and no long explanations are needed about how to use it. It’s most definitely plug-and-play and I’m curious to know how many people will ask me what it is when I’m out there and needing to test. I had an appointment at my local GP this afternoon and I already had the lovely practice manager, the nurse/diabetes advisor and my doctor all looking at it and marvelling at the technology!
I haven’t yet done too many comparison blood tests, but the first one I did, came out exactly the same as my usual meter, which is reasonably accurate. People are reporting the same everywhere – that the iBG*Star© is one of the more accurate meters out there. Small and accurate? Huge bonus!
I’m reliably told that it’s better than the +/- 20% error most meters are allowed, and it’s more like 15%. That’s a big start in making meters more accurate. Yet, how could they improve accuracy so much in such a tiny device? We now know the technology is out there, so no excuses any more to produce inaccurate meters!
The iBG*Star© charges while connected to the iPhone, plus there’s a separate charger that will charge both your iPhone and the iBG*Star© if all are connected together. I’ve had mine connected for quite a few hours now, and I can only see a little bit of difference. Then again, I’ve been playing with it since I got it, taking screen photos, normal photos and movies.
I charge my iPhone every night – everyone knows what a drain some apps are on battery, so I’ll now switch to the iBG*Star© charger and charge both at the same time overnight. Apparently I don’t need to do that every night for the iBG*Star© because it stays charged for a couple of weeks, but if the iBG*Star© will stay connected to my iPhone, no reason not to charge it all at the same time.
There’s an iPhone case available (I’ll be getting mine next week) that fits around the iPhone and iBG*Star© while it’s attached to the iPhone. I see no need to ever disconnect it from the iPhone, considering I go nowhere without my mobile phone, and I test a lot. So much less to carry now too!
The photo on the left is copyright and is from the Sanofi’s Canada website. All other photos and the movie I’ve taken myself.
Thank you to Sanofi in Australia for giving me the opportunity to give the iBG*Star© a look over and to use it for this review. Believe me, if there was anything I didn’t like about it, I’d say so!
I have nothing bad to say about this new and gorgeous piece of technology! The strips are the same as used with its ‘sibling’ the BG*Star© glucose meter, and they are already on the NDSS (code 145).
The iBG*Star© meter is one I’ll definitely be using regularly.