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November 9, 2000

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Clinton, Iowa, USA:

My mother has diabetes and recently heard about a new glucose monitor that's out on the market. She said it monitors your blood glucose level by putting a test strip on any skin area without using a lancet or needle. Have you heard of this? If so, could you provide me with more information as to where it's available and the price of the monitor?

Answer:

I think the monitor you are talking about is the new FreeStyle meter by Therasense. This meter uses a very tiny drop of blood from the forearm and is quick and very accurate. You can find more information by visiting their website. You can also test on the arm with an existing meter by LifeScan called the FastTake. This meter takes a slightly larger drop of blood but is accurate as well.

This is an exciting area of discovery right now and new monitors are coming to the market over the next many months that will also be able to test on sites other than the fingertips.

KS

[Editor’s comment: Both of the meters that Kris mentioned still require using a lancet. However, since they require so little blood, the procedure is virtually painless.

Your mother may also be referring to the GlucoWatch which has been approved by the FDA, but is not yet marketed. It is expected to be available about the second quarter of 2001.

SS]