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What is Needed to Start


Tiny needle called a lancet is used to poke the skin (on a finger or on your arm) to get a small sample of blood. The lancing device is packaged with the glucometer.

Test Strips

The strips work with the glucose meters to “read” blood sugar levels. One box of test trips usually contains between 25-50 single use strips.


The meter measures the amount of sugar in the small sample of blood that is placed on the disposable test strip. Most CGMs require testing blood sugar with a meter to calibrate the CGM device daily.

Watch and Learn

How to Use a Glucometer

How to Use a Contour Next One Glucometer

Using a Blood Glucose Meter

Device Details

Affordability and Access

Most accessible. Available over the counter at all Pharmacies. Price range; $0-$200/month depending on insurance coverage.

Data Monitoring Options

Limited Options
Data is available directly on the device. Some meters may be compatible with the Tidepool data management system. 

Data View Options

Data may be viewed directly on the device. Some meters contain a built-in USB connection that allows information to be uploaded to a data management system. 

Duration and Storage

Meters can last several years with battery changes/charging, they're used daily and work between 65ºF-86°F

Vision / Auditory / Dexterity

NO text to speech
vibration alerts
A LOT of dexterity needed

Patient Considerations


Meter supplies carried and requires visible blood.

Active Lifestyle

Must pause activity to check blood sugar.

Avoiding Highs and Lows

Less data. Meters don't give as much blood sugar data as sensors do and require a high level of engagement and effort to avoid highs and lows.

Easy to Use

Large display. Device typically has large display numbers for easier readouts, and it's very simple to operate.

Easy Insulin Dosing

Limited features. No info on blood sugar trends.

Fewer Fingersticks

Frequent fingersticks are unavoidable.


No attached device for blood glucose monitoring.