Large and small, for use in home, hospital or consulting room, blood monitors have become fairly ubiquitous in the medical world. Enabling long-term monitoring and control of key variables in the blood, they are increasingly employed by both the public and medical practitioners to catch problems as early as possible. Here is everything you need to know about these devices.
Blood Monitors: A Brief History
The history of blood monitors can be traced back to 1971 when Anton Clemens took out a patent on his design for the Ames Reflectance Meter, the first device for testing and monitoring blood glucose levels. Since then, electronic blood monitors have developed to become more compact and increasingly more integrated into their functions.
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Blood Monitors are the First Line of Defence Against Silent Killers
High cholesterol and diabetes are usually not detected until it’s too late, or at least until drastic, last-minute counteractive measures are needed. The beauty of blood monitors, most of which now combine the testing of both lipids and glucose into a single device, is that they enable practitioners and patients to keep an eye on these levels through regular testing. What’s more, the tests are quick and easy and require no more than a drop of blood from a pinprick. Results are generated on the spot, within the minutes.
No Test Works in a Vacuum
In any science, tests and experiments are only valuable if they are taken in context. This is done by providing control. Many modern monitors come with a control solution to increase the accuracy and usefulness of your test. It also helps to look beyond your monitor. Test blood from the same patient (or your own in the case of home testing) on a number of different devices and take note of any variances.
There are Several Conditions that Can Affect the Accuracy of Blood Monitors
Meters that are made according to the appropriate standards and regulations are extremely accurate at least 95% of the time. Manufacturers are required to stick to that standard in order to keep their devices on the market. However, there are a number of external factors which can affect accuracy. The temperature and humidity in the room in which the test is being conducted can both affect the accuracy of the readings. The sample size is also a factor. Too little blood may yield an inaccurate result.
Glucose and cholesterol tests can both show high degrees of variance depending on the patient’s behaviour prior to the test. A test taken after the patient has eaten will be substantially different from one administered during fasting.
Glenmed are Blood Monitor & Other Medical Device Experts
Blood monitors are a constantly developing technology and the methods, practices, materials and outcomes associated with them are likely to improve marked as time goes on. Glenmed supplies a number of brands and models of these useful devices. Contact us today to find out more about our company or to order one for your hospital or nursing home, or even for use by yourself or a member of your family in your home.