Two Blood Meters to Start Your Biohacking Adventure
There are a plethora of new meters making their way into the consumer market place. Non-diabetics use these meters as a gauge of metabolic health, fat burning ability and as a weight loss metric. Before purchasing a blood glucose device there are a few things you will want to consider:
How much do the test strips cost?
How much does the meter cost?
Can this device speak to anything else?
Can this meter handle my readings?
Currently, my favorite blood glucose meter is the ReliOn Premier BLU. It meets all the above criteria.
Test strips for the ReliOn devices are typically $0.18 each. This is a third the price of most other devices.
This is currently the lowest priced bluetooth enabled glucose meter on the market at only $18.
ReliOn has release their “Life” App available for iOS and Droid.
This model can handle blood sugar from 20-600 mg/dl which is the largest range I’ve seen a device cover. Since I’m recommending this device for biohackers the low end is of particular importance. I have used blood glucose meters that were tuned to measure blood glucose over 120 mg/dl which is a typical range for diabetics.
The ReliOn Premier BLU has a crisp screen, simple UI and is easy to sync your phone with. The trouble with this device is that it has been on the market for less than a month. The app has just come out and is frankly awful. There is currently no way to do a bulk export of your glucose data from the App directly or bypassing the app with Apple Health and Google Fit. There is currently no third party app that can sync over bluetooth or extract data from the “Life” App. I suspect that the “Life” App will soon support more features or a third party will step up for bluetooth data syncing. Patience.
My favorite blood ketone meter is based on an entirely different criteria. Blood ketone strips are relatively expensive costing anywhere from $1 – $4 per test. That is to say it could be as much as 22x the price of testing blood glucose for a single blood ketone test. The Abbott Precision Xtra has a reputation for being the most precise home ketone tester available today. This meter normally costs $40 with strips purchased through eBay at about $1.25 each. This device is old school in that it is accurate, simple and does not talk to any other device. One thing I would strongly discourage is to try to use a single meter for both blood and ketone testing. If you are testing both at the same time it is much easier to do a single finger prick and apply blood to both strips simultaneously. This would be quite difficult to do if you need to swap strip types to get both readings.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.