A durable blood glucose meter to carry in my pocket?
May 18, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe

What blood glucose meter can be reliably carried in a pocket, handle the wear of being jostled around, and avoid being activated when not actually in use?

I carry my blood glucose meter in my pocket, so I'll always have it with me. It's one of four things I always have in my four pants pockets, along with keys, phone, and wallet. And I notice pretty quickly if any pocket is empty, to the point where I feel vaguely uneasy driving or talking on the phone because a pocket is empty. So I'm pretty attached to carrying my glucose meter in my pocket, along with my other supplies.

However, the pocket storage has proven problematic. Every meter I've used fails in some way when carried in my pocket. This doesn't seem like an especially strange use case, but nothing seems to be designed to handle pocket jostling. Most have buttons that turn them on and change various settings, and these buttons get bumped in my pocket and the readings become unreliable because the settings are off, e.g. the time changes and I don't notice and then it's not clear what time any reading was taken.

My doctor recommended the FreeStyle InsuLinx, which has a touchscreen and a single on-off button. And this seemed like a great solution for a few months, though a bit large, but now it has gradually worn out in my pocket and it has started turning on even when the button isn't pressed. This doesn't change the settings, since those are controlled by touchscreen, but it wears down the battery really fast, since it's on a lot in my pocket when I'm not actually using it. And it seems likely to just stop working eventually.

So what meter should I try next to avoid these problems?
posted by scottreynen to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd suggest you look imstead for a small hard side case in which to store your device.
posted by tilde at 1:17 PM on May 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that seems like a better bet. I would look at Walmart or Target or sundry other places that sell electronics for clearance sales of cases for phones and MP3 players and hand-held games, which are usually in abundance these days because those devices regularly become obsolete and all the custom-made accessories for them then become worthless.
posted by XMLicious at 1:42 PM on May 18, 2013

Response by poster: Yeah, I've looked for small hard cases, but haven't found anything that's both large enough to hold my supplies, which have an odd variety of shapes, and small enough to fit in my pocket. My soft case only fits in my pocket because it's soft.

But a large part of that problem is the length of my insulin pens, which I won't need to carry when I get an insulin pump soon. So that should make case shopping easier. Still, even in a hard case, I'd love to have a meter that can't be accidentally turned on, nor worn out, by bumping against the other items in the case.
posted by scottreynen at 1:48 PM on May 18, 2013

I have an accucheck aviva. It comes in a soft case with sufficent room for a a tube of strips a pricker and refills n swabs. The case is 5.5 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches. It has never gone off in transit.
posted by BenPens at 2:02 PM on May 18, 2013

Best answer: The IBGStar plugs into an iPhone, if you have one. Can't be turned on without attaching it to your phone.
posted by amaire at 2:27 PM on May 18, 2013

Other half has an Accucheck Aviva Nano which has fared pretty well and seems pretty robust. The flexible case it comes with is pretty compact.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:33 PM on May 18, 2013

I've looked for small hard cases, but haven't found anything that's both large enough to hold my supplies, which have an odd variety of shapes, and small enough to fit in my pocket. My soft case only fits in my pocket because it's soft

But you'd only need the meter itself to fit in the hard case, if the purpose of it is to prevent buttons from being pressed accidentally, right? The other stuff could be loose in your pocket or in a separate soft case or cloth bag or something.
posted by XMLicious at 4:40 PM on May 18, 2013

OneTouch UltraMini? I've used mine for years, always kept in the soft case, which I've treated pretty rough. It has held up well.
posted by chinston at 7:03 PM on May 18, 2013

Response by poster: The IBGStar plugs into an iPhone

That looks great, thanks. The strips are expensive, but I think I'll get one and try it out.

But you'd only need the meter itself to fit in the hard case

That's true, I could do that. Ideally I'd like everything in just one case for convenience, but a small hard case within a large soft case wouldn't be too bad.

OneTouch UltraMini

I've used that one, and had problems with the date and time getting changed frequently while in my pocket. I'm kind of surprised no one else seems to have this experience. I don't think I'm doing anything crazy with my pockets, but maybe I'm missing something.
posted by scottreynen at 8:59 PM on May 18, 2013

I have carried around a OneTouch Ultra Mini, in a little pouch or in my pocket (or actually in my bra) for running and tae kwon do, and it has held up to the abuse very well. It turns on when inserting a strip - touching the buttons can also turn it on, but you have to press them pretty darn hard to do that, so it's less likely to occur by accident. It's really small - and part of why I bought it is the strips seem to be among the cheaper options. I think this could work very well for you.
posted by mccn at 10:07 AM on May 19, 2013

To expand your search: do you regularly wear a belt? If so, you might want to look for cases with a belt loop on them. My husband has a pair of small Bushnell binoculars and the case looks exactly like what you're looking for.
posted by deborah at 7:19 PM on May 19, 2013

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