Blood glucose peripheral for iPhone/iPod touch

Todd Vandenbark

logo for peripheral device from iTunes StoreAs reviewed by Iltifat Husain, MD, in the iMedicalApps blog, the iBGStar Blood Glucose monitoring system by Sanofi US, approved for use in Europe over a year ago, recently received approval for use in the U.S. It connects to an iPhone or iPod touch and allows persons with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose (BG) levels using the accompanying test strips, and review the results using the accompanying app. Dr. Husain gives it high praise for its ease of use, wide availability and seamless integration. Also, the mobile app can be used without the peripheral for those who meticulously track their own BG levels. Finally, the app’s analytics feature allows patients to email their physicians detailed BG reports, broken down in a variety of areas, which may improve communication about, and management of, this chronic condition.

The biggest drawback is price: $99 at the online Apple Store (or local Apple Store), and $75 online or at your local Walgreens for the peripheral, and it includes 50 initial test strips. Additional strips are $65 per 50 online through Walgreens. The app is free, and the manufacturer does offer a program to reduce the cost for the strips, down to about $20.

But the real test is whether or not it helps people achieve better glycemic control. Husain points out that while some evidence exists to support the claim that mobile devices help with glycemic control, a full clinical trial is needed to test the effectiveness of this device, perhaps in comparison with other devices as well.

Are you a person with diabetes who uses this or another mobile device to track your BG levels? Does it help improve your success at glycemic control? What strengths and weaknesses does your system have? Tell us about it!