A device with a great concept, but questionable accuracy.

One of my favorite parts of modern technology is electronic medical records. I feel that with electronic records, patients have the ability to take better control of their health and personal well being. It’s also been quite amazing that there are medical devices that we can personally use at home to monitor chronic conditions like diabetes and vital stats like blood pressure. Health technology company, iHealth Labs, has been designing personal health management devices since 2010 and they now have a Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System that is perfect for people who need to monitor their glucose levels. 

DETAILS & SPECS

iHealth’s Wireless Gluco-Monitoring System is a portable, shareable, personal diabetes data management device. It’s designed to provide daily diabetes management as a digital log. The device works with your smartphone (iOS or Android) to create easy-to-understand color-coded data, charts, and graphs. The Gluco-Monitoring System has some impressive features and is designed for easy use by consumers.

iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

SMART FEATURES

  • 510(K) Approval and CE Certified: Clinically approved accuracy. Learn more.
  • Effective Data Management: The Gluco-Monitoring system provides more than test results. The digital logbook reflects all the different factors that might affect the readings such as food and exercise. The color-coded summaries allow users to see where results fall in a range. You also have the opportunity to set reminders to take readings, medication, or insulin. 
  • Secure and Shareable Cloud Data: All readings are stored in iHealth’s secure cloud. Users have the option to export results as Excel, PDF, or CSV files to be able to send to healthcare providers or family members. 
  • Portable and Discreet Design: The monitor is designed to be able to carry with you anywhere. It’s pocket-sized and can fit anywhere purse, bag, backpack, etc. 
  • Affordable: Only 25 cents per test strip.
  • Quick Testing Process: The testing process is only 5 steps and results come back to the monitor in approximately 5 seconds. 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

  • iHealth Smart Gluco-Monitoring System
  • iHealth Lancing Device
  • Lancet x 10
  • Clear Cap for Alternate Site Testing
  • USB Charging Cable
  • Travel Case
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Quick Start Guide

*test strips and control solution are sold separately due to expiration. 

iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

TECHNICAL SPECS

  • Model: BG5
  • Wireless communication: Bluetooth 3.0
  • Measuring method: Amperometric technology using glucose oxidase
  • Single patient use for self-testing only
  • Use only iHealth Test Strips
  • Package includes meter, lancets, lancing device, and travel case
  • Dimensions: Machine size: 3.8’’× 1.35’’× 0.75’’
  • Power & Battery: DDC 3.6V
  • Result range: 20 mg/dL ~600 mg/dL (1.1 mmol/L~33.3mmol/L)
  • Blood source: Fresh capillary whole blood
  • Blood volume: Min. 0.7 microliter
  • Operating temperature: 50 ° -104 ° F (10 ° C-40 ° C)
  • Storage condition: (Meter and Test strips): 39.2° F~86° F (4° C~30° C), Humidity < 80% RH
  • Storage condition (Meter): -4° F 131° F (-20° C~55° C); Humidity<80%RH
iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

USER EXPERIENCE

I want to preface this review to say that I’m not diabetic. I am, however, a caregiver of someone who is hypoglycemic and has been categorized as borderline diabetic. So, we have to monitor his glucose pretty carefully. A few years back, his primary care doctor provided us with a FreeStyle Lite system, which has never really worked properly. It takes a long time to register a reading and it just doesn’t seem to collect the blood sample well. It’s a flat test strip and it’s hard to tell if there is enough on the strip to complete the test. To be honest, because of our experience with the FreeStyle Lite, we were turned off to the testing process altogether because it just didn’t seem to be worth the trouble for an inaccurate test. 

iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

That brings us to the iHealth system. I was hesitant to try it out at first given our previous experience with a monitoring system. Even though the Gluco-Monitoring System does not come with test strips or control solution, the bundle from iHealth does. iHealth has a Smart Gluco-Monitor Bundle that includes 1 iHealth Smart Gluco-monitor, 1 Lancing Device, 1 Control Solution, 2 Lancet Pack (100 Ct total), 2 Test Strip Bottles (100 Ct total), and a Travel Case. This is actually the kit we have.

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I was surprised at how easy it was to get started with the systems and to take readings. The first step is to download the app and scan the test strip bottle. Then you insert a test strip into the monitor. Next, you will use the lancet to prick the site to draw blood from. Now, in the past, I’ve had trouble figuring out how much blood to use for a sample. iHealth’s test strips make it easy to determine because when there is enough blood on the strip, it will start counting down from 5 as it tests the sample. The strip actually has a small channel/cut out on the surface that the blood sample flows into. It makes it very easy to both collect the sample and know when there is enough on the strip. 

iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW
iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

A couple of additional features I like a lot is that the device itself can store up to 500 records for uploading to your smartphone at a later time. That means that you can literally use the monitor anytime, anywhere even if you don’t have your smartphone with you. This is a very helpful feature if you are constantly on the go. It’s also very convenient to be able to not have to wait for a connection to take the test. The second feature that I really like is that the device is rechargeable. The FreeStyle Lite was battery-operated and I wasted a lot of batteries as time went on. I would much rather have a rechargeable device. 

iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

As easy as the device is to use, I do have some concerns about its accuracy. After reading some other reviews and doing additional research, I found that at times, there is a discrepancy between readings. Some users reported more than a 30-point difference between the iHealth reading and other monitors. So, I decided to run a quick test on myself. You will see from the screenshot below that there are four readings. The first reading was approximately an hour and a half before the other three. The last three in the series were taken within 5 minutes of each other and they showed very different readings. This is concerning especially if you are trying to watch for trends in your glucose levels. 

iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco Monitoring System REVIEW

FINAL THOUGHTS

I can’t speak to the accuracy of the device 100%, but I do think given my testing example that it should be reviewed by iHealth technicians. The concept of the device is amazing. I love how compact it is and the basic functions of it. I just worry about its accuracy since this is a device that is supposed to help people monitor a life-altering condition. 

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