The Precision Xtra from MediSense is the first meter that tests for both blood glucose and blood ketones. The meter is very similar to the highly rated Precision QID, though the Xtra is slightly larger all around and uses different test strips. With several enhancements over the QID, the Xtra is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a new meter.
Like the QID, the Xtra uses foil wrapped test strips. Four ketone strips come with each package of 100 glucose strips. (You can buy a box of ketone strips separately. Call MediSense at 1-877-263-2849 for more information.) The strips come with two calibration strips, one for glucose and one for ketones. Testing for blood glucose is very simple: unwrap the touchable strip, insert into meter, meter turns on, apply sample, read result in 20 seconds. Testing for blood ketones is exactly the same, except we noted that the ketone strips require more blood than the glucose strips. Ketone results come in 30 seconds.
Testing for blood ketones represents a significant advance over testing for urine ketones. Not only does it free you from messy urine ketone test strips, but more importantly, it provides an accurate and current reading of blood ketones. Urine testing reports on previous ketone levels. This difference is akin to testing urine for glucose compared with testing blood for glucose. One of our tester’s simply said, “It’s better than peeing on a strip.”
Because of it’s small size and weight (79 grams), the Precision Xtra is an excellent meter for people on the go. It’s carrying case holds enough supplies for about ten tests.
Like the Precision QID, the Precision Xtra has many features that make it a good choice:
- Because of a unique design in which the test area is not the same as the sample application area, you can touch the test strip without contaminating it.
- If the blood sample doesn’t look like it’s enough, you can apply more blood to the same test strip.
- You can bring the meter to the blood hanging from the finger, instead of being advised to keep the meter on a level surface.
These three features make it well suited for use by kids, who often forget to adhere to “rigorous testing procedures.” And, because the test strips can be handled without contaminating the test, the usual concern about the difficulty little kids have opening foil wrapped strips does not apply. They can practically wrestle the strip open and it will still work.
Precision Xtra Rating
- Ease of use: 10
- Features: 10 (blood ketone testing; 450 memories; 7, 14, and 28 day averages; data port; two AAA batteries)
- Speed of results: 8 (20 seconds glucose, 30 seconds ketones)
- Suitability for use by children under ten years old: 10 Highly Recommended
- Suitability for use by children over ten years old: 10 Highly Recommended
- Cost: 1 (about US$70 per 100; includes four ketone strips; new meter so price is high)
- Overall Rating: 49
An Abbott Laboratories Company
4A Crosby Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
For More Information
- Evaluation of an Electrochemical Sensor for Measuring Blood Ketones