Accuracy: Should It Matter Right Now?

Right now, there’s a lot of people testing and trying out new or different meters and choosing one over the other saying one seems more accurate than the other. And while this may be true in some cases, there’s one fact that still remains:

The FDA still has the same standard across the board – They must test within ± 20% of the YSI method for fingerstick analysis if the glucose concentration is above 75mg/dl.

New Freestyle (not Lite) test strips.
VerioIQ Accuracy results

Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to stay around 75mg/dl too long. My comfort zone is 85-125 (YDMV). So that means that outside of that, my readings that come back on my meter are allowed to be ± 20% of that number. So, it’s allowed to be 100-150mg/dl if my actual blood glucose reading is 125.

Thankfully, though, a lot of companies are actually closer to ± 15%, meaning that I could be 106-144, which still isn’t much when you think about it, and still doesn’t seem like much even in the higher numbers:

Actual BG    ± 20%         ±15

300            240-360     255-345

Even still, if I were to choose the VerioIQ over my Freestyle, then “technically” there shouldn’t be a difference, right? Since 98-99% of the tests are within the ± 15% accuracy range?

And yet, we still see pictures of them being so far off. Or were they? Maybe our bg’s were smack dab in the middle and one read the higher end of the spectrum verses the other reading the lower?

I just don’t know if griping over accuracy should matter any more. Not until requirements are tightened up to maybe 100% of tests being within ± 10% or even ± 5%, which would be a dream! Granted, I probably just made a few of you mad by saying that, but it’s true. What’s the use in fussing and raising Cain if the FDA refuses to tighten up on what’s “acceptable”? You can go check your sugar on ten different meters and all of them will come up with a different result, even more so if you use various brands. They all differ from one to another.

Accuracy isn’t any less important to me than it is to you. I still have to treat based off of the result that’s given to me. What we need to do is find a way to more effectively reach out to the FDA to petition for tighter allowable ranges.

I want to do something about this. I want to make a difference. I want our voices to be heard about this issue that is so important to all of us, and I want to do it in an effective way. The problem is, I just don’t know where or how to start.

1 thought on “Accuracy: Should It Matter Right Now?”

  1. Bravo!

    Accuracy has long been one of those things that is already pretty good, and the work (and cost) to go from pretty good to really good is high. Of course it sucks it’s not perfect, but I’m right there with you taking what we’ve got.

    Of course once something better is available, it’s a different story. But right now, AFAIK, there’s not. So let’s make the best of it.

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