The iBGStar glucose meter was introduced in 2012 as the first Apple iPhone and iPad compatible glucose monitor. The meter is one of the waves of “Smart” meters that have recently been introduced over the last several years.
The device is marketed and sold by Sanofi-Aventis, the large pharmaceutical company. However, the device was actually developed by Agamatrix, a small glucose meter company located in New Hampshire. The testing technology is the same as the Agamatrix WaveSense Jazz.
For certain testers, the iBGStar is a revelation and really is the first device that seems to fit into a modern technological lifestyle.
For others, the device still has some flaws and may not be appropriate at this time. Let’s jump into the review to flesh out the details.
- Very Small: If you look at the picture of the device on this page, you will see that it is very small and simply attaches to the bottom of the iPhone (or iPad). Incredible. I will note that you still have to lug around a larger case with the strips, and the lancet device, and the control solution. But, this is still the situation with any meter. The meter itself is very small and ergonomically designed to fit in with the iPhone.
- Mobile Convenience: I am not a mobile gadget guy. This device is cool and I would use it. But, I prefer to work with a bigger screen. But, my wife, and tens of millions of others, uses her iPhone way more than a regular computer. Having your data management software on the mobile device is huge for her and others like her.
- Share Feature: Similar to the mobile convenience feature, there is a “share” function that let’s you email the results directly to your doctor or whomever (e.g., parents). How great is this for teenagers who want or need to keep their parents abreast to their testing numbers!
- Apple Compatible: This feature is obvious, but there are very few glucose meters and data management software that work directly with Apple products.
- Cost: The cost of this meter has come WAY down. You can pick it up for under $20 (iPhone not included!)
- Data Management: This is another feature that fits both the advantage and disadvantage category. The data management software for the iBGStar glucose meter is only available on mobile devices. Thus, while the software is good (and better than most), it is not as robust as other choices. Plus, the screen is inherently small, so reading detailed charts, etc., can be difficult for some.
- Accuracy: Some early users have complained of accuracy issues. I would note that the WaveSense Jazz has a good reputation for accuracy. I would also note that all glucose monitors will vary amongst each other. So, if you are comparing your old meter results to a new meter, good luck with that. I have written extensively on blood glucose meter accuracy here. Nonetheless, the accuracy complaints should be noted and monitored to see if there really is a problem.
The meter uses iBGStar Glucose Meter Test Strips. As touched on above, unless you have certain insurance coverage, you will have to pay full price for the strips. Medicare does not cover strips for this meter and any State or Federal health insurance does not as well, according to Sanofi-Aventis. You can check the latest pricing on test strips at our discount test strips page.
Data Management and Company
As noted above, the data management software is excellent for a mobile device and comes with a number of really nice features. Some companies have better software, but these are for a full computer and they do not typically work with Apple devices.
You can really tell that the iBGStar glucose meter is being marketed by a big, deep pocket, healthcare company. The website is excellent and the materials for the meter are first rate.
I like the iBGStar glucose meter. I really like they way mobile friendly people can integrate the testing into an existing device that they know intimately and understand. I also like how results can be shared very easily with your doctor or other interested person via email directly from the iPhone.
Some users, particularly older users who cannot see detailed information on a small screen, may find the set up lacking. Likewise, some heavy data management users might feel the same way.
With that said, I applaud Sanofi for making the plunge into the 21st century with a very nice glucose meter testing option.
|Auto. Shut Off||1 minute|
|Alternative Site Testing||Yes|
|Memory Capacity||300 Tests|
|Storage Temp.||46° - 86° F|
|Operating Temp.||50° - 104° F|
|Result Range||20 to 600 mg/dL|
|Sample Size||0.5 microliter|
|Test Time||6 seconds|
|Weight (battery)||0.31 oz.|
|Size (Inches)||2.17" x 0.94 x 0.839|