My wife has type 2 diabetes. Keeping track of blood glucose levels over time is something all diabetics should do, but many of the meters don’t have a good way to connect to a smartphone; until now. Dario’s Health Blood Glucose System attaches to your iPhone via the headphone jack or the lightening port.
However, it’s still the same as using any other meter.
When Dario offered to send a system to me for my wife, I jumped at the chance to try this system. The system itself comes with the device that plugs into your iPhone headphone jack, test strips, extra lancets, test glucose solution, and bags for keeping your phone clean. The app itself is available on the App Store and can be downloaded for free; for now, the Dario System is iPhone only.
You use the Dario system the same way you use any other blood glucose monitoring system. You wash your hands, (if you want to keep your phone clean) you put a cover over your phone, and then you plug the device in, insert a test strip and launch the app. You poke your finger with the included lancing device and then touch the blood droplet to the strip as you would any other meter and then the phone measures your glucose level and stores it in the app. The app itself will backup your levels to the Dario Web Portal where you can keep track of these over time. You can then take this information with you to your Doctor’s appointments and discuss how to best manage your diabetes.
I tried the device and my wife did as well. Now it took me some time to convince my wife to try this over her normal meter. Once she did, she thought it was more trouble than it’s worth. A big reason for this was the need to plug it into her phone just to take the reading. This is more complicated than if you just had the typical meter, lancing device, and strip combo. Plus in the end, it wasn’t more convenient than using her regular meter; it was the same. I think a better system would be to take a normal meter and build in Bluetooth, so you can then transfer its data to your phone. This would make the phone itself not necessary to do her normal testing. So if her phone was dead and needed a charge, for instance, she could just take it and store it on the device and sync it later. Dario’s device doesn’t do this, so it’s not any better than what she already uses. As a result, she was less than enthusiastic and immediately went back to her normal meter.
One other downside to this is that to buy this system you are going to pretty much have take full responsibility to pay 100% of the cost for the supplies on your own. Most insurance covers testing supplies, and since each meter has different supplies, it’s not likely your pharmaceutical insurance would cover Dario’s strips. The cost of the strips are $37.50 for a 3 month supply (depending on how often you test). The starter kit itself is $29.99 currently. The bags are $18.99, and I feel is an unnecessary expense. It’s easier just to wipe your phone down which you likely already do. So it’s not that expensive, but be aware that you will likely have to pay for the ongoing costs. In our insurance case, the Dario strips actually are cheaper than my wife’s current strips, but your mileage may vary.
Now if I had diabetes (I currently do not), I would love this. The only issue is that it doesn’t work at all with Android, so I’d have to buy an iPhone or iPod touch, as the device is limited to only iOS users.
If you are into the Fitbit and other fitness and health measurement devices, then you’d probably like this device. However, if you’re on a fixed income or on medicare, you likely wouldn’t even look at this as you’d be better off cost-wise going with whatever Medicare covers. Personally, I think that this kind of meter should become a standard, as it would make it much easier to bring your results in with you for your doctor’s visits. But as far as I know, no insurance covers any kind of meter that comes with a way to off load the data to a smartphone or computer. My wife has tried others as well, and they had the same issues that this does. I think someday this kind of testing will be unnecessary. as there will be wearables that allow you to just glance at them to see your current blood sugar, but until that day you’ll have to continue to use something that requires the sacrifice a drop of blood.
The Dario Health Blood Glucose Management System is $29.99 for starter kit, $18.99 for covers, $8.99 for test solution, $5.99 for lancets and $37.50 every three months for strips.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Allows you to keep track of your blood glucose levels over time easily
What Needs Improvement: More complex than using a regular meter; Marginally better than your normal meter