Know more about Home-use Blood Glucose Meter

Know more about Home-use Blood Glucose Meter
What is home-use blood glucose meter?
Home-use blood glucose meter is a battery-powered portable
in-vitro diagnostic medical device which is readily available in
the market and can be bought without a doctor’s prescription.
The meter is used to measure the concentration of glucose in
blood with a blood sample of the user.
What is the function of home-use blood glucose meter?
Diabetic patients may use home-use blood glucose meter to self-monitor their blood
glucose level.
The results are useful in monitoring diabetic conditions, and helping
patients modify their diets and physical activity levels, as well as adjusting medication
dosage by the doctor.
If diabetic patients can maintain their blood glucose levels within an acceptable range,
the chance of having diabetic complications will be lowered.
How to operate home-use blood glucose meter?
Before conducting a blood glucose test, read and understand the instructions for use of
the blood glucose meter.
In general, insert a disposable test strip into the device,
then use a lancet to obtain a small drop of blood from the fingertip and apply it on the
test strip for the blood glucose test.
Owing to differences in the design of blood glucose meters, users should follow the
instructions for use to operate the device.
What is the unit of blood glucose concentration?
The blood glucose concentration is expressed in “millimoles per liter” (mmol/L) or
“milligrams per deciliter” (mg/dL). The former is more commonly used in Hong
Some home-use blood glucose meters allow users to change the unit of the blood
glucose concentration.
Hence, caution should be taken in reading the results to
avoid erroneous interpretation of blood glucose levels. Mismanagement of
hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia may lead to acute diabetic complications including
dehydration, loss of consciousness or even death.
Tips for choosing a home-use blood glucose meter
Consult healthcare professionals before buying a blood glucose meter.
Choose a
suitable blood glucose meter according to its function, accuracy and ease of operation.
Apart from the price of the blood glucose meter, also consider the total cost for testing
including the availability and prices of consumables such as test strips, control
solution and lancets.
Check if the name and contact information of the agent are provided on the label of
the blood glucose meter. Check that all accessories including the warranty card and
instructions for use are available.
Make sure the display screen is functioning well.
Make sure the test strips supplied are compatible with the blood glucose meter.
Patients with abnormal physiological conditions such as high bilirubin level, high
lipid level, too high or too low haematocrit level, may affect the accuracy of blood
glucose measurement.
In case of doubt, consult healthcare professionals before
buying a blood glucose meter.
Points to note before using a home-use blood glucose meter
Read the instructions for use carefully, and follow the instructions in calibrating the
blood glucose meter.
Contact the agent if you have queries.
Check the power supply regularly and replace the batteries when necessary.
Check the expiry date of the test strips.
Carry out a blood glucose test at the appropriate time as instructed by healthcare
Do not use expired or used test strips.
professionals (e.g. during fasting, before meals, 2-3 hours after meals or before sleep).
Under certain environmental conditions (e.g. high relative humidity or low
temperature), the blood glucose test result may be inaccurate.
You are advised to
add a remark in the record for blood glucose tests performed under these conditions
for future reference.
Points to note when using a home-use blood glucose meter
Each time you turn on the blood glucose meter,
Make sure the monitor displays the unit you are
accustomed to.
Verify that all display segments are present on the screen
and be aware of error messages.
If you have followed
the recommendations in the instructions for use (e.g.
replacing the battery) but the problem persists, stop using
the meter and contact the agent immediately.
Each time you perform blood glucose test,
Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid contamination of the blood sample.
Insert the test strip completely into the meter guide and the meter will turn on.
If a
test strip is not fully inserted, the displayed blood glucose result may be inaccurate.
Use a sterile lancet for blood sampling.
Apply a right amount of blood to the test strip in accordance with the instructions for
Insufficient or excessive blood amount will affect the accuracy of the
Retest with a new test strip if necessary.
Refer to the instructions for use and interpret the displayed blood glucose
concentration, the unit, symbols or other messages carefully.
Although most blood glucose meters are equipped with the memory function, the user
still should record the result for future reference.
If there is any doubt about the test result, use the control solution to test the device
and repeat the measurement.
Consult healthcare professionals as soon as possible if
doubtful results persist.
Each time you change a new package of test strips,
Set the code of the test strips at the meter prior to testing.
Make sure the code
number displayed on the blood glucose meter and the code number on the test strip
vial are the same.
Refer to the instructions for use to conduct the control solution test.
How to take care of my home-use blood glucose meter?
Make sure you register with the agent to enjoy the after-sale service.
Dispose the used lancets into a puncture-resistant container.
Clean the device
according to the instructions for use after the blood glucose test.
Do not insert expired or used test strip into the blood glucose meter to avoid damage
to the device.
Keep the blood glucose meter, test strips and control solution away from extremes of
temperature and relative humidity.
with the cap tightly closed.
The test strips must be stored in the original vial
Avoid placing the test strips in another container.
Other recommendations and summary
Home-use blood glucose meter is useful for self-monitoring the blood glucose level.
However, users should not totally rely on the test results and ignore the importance of
regular medical follow-up.
Diabetic patients should have regular follow-up and blood checking as recommended
by their healthcare provider.
Consult healthcare professionals before sampling blood from sites other than the
Perform a quality control check as instructed by the instructions for use and repeat the
measurement if you are in doubt about a test result.
If the test results are persistently
doubtful, contact your healthcare professionals immediately.
Use the same blood glucose meter every time to minimise variation of the blood
glucose results.
Differences in the design, working principle and calibration method
of different models of blood glucose meters may yield different test results.
For more information on Diabetes Mellitus, please visit the webpage of “Let’s beat
Medical Device Control Office
Department of Health
February 2018
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