College of American Pathologists
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  What’s new in point-of-care glucose analyzers


CAP Today




February 2010
Feature Story

Brendan Dabkowski

Sometimes, turning your attention away from the rest of the proverbial forest to care for a specific tree can prove positive. So long as you pick the right tree. For makers of bedside glucose testing systems, the right tree is accuracy. And growing it can yield such benefits as fewer errors, reduced costs, and greater patient safety.

“The most significant trend within the marketplace has been for hospitals to demand improved accuracy of bedside glucose monitors as hospitals adopt protocols for better glycemic management of patients,” says Rick Rollins, marketing specialist, Nova Biomedical. Rollins adds that the FDA, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and Society of Critical Care Medicine are calling for enhanced glucose meter accuracy. And as point-of-care glucose testing expands, says Peter Karkantis, general manager of hospital and government, Abbott Diabetes Care, “health care institutions must have assurance that their point-of-care glucose monitoring system provider can deliver consistent accuracy across thousands of glucose analyzers and millions of test strips.”

Developing and improving technologies for glucose testing is the aim of the companies in this month’s bedside glucose testing systems product guide.

One such system is Arkray USA’s Assure Platinum auto-code glucose monitoring analyzer, which was introduced late last year as an upgrade to the company’s Assure Pro meter. The new system eliminates the need for any other form of manual coding and helps reduce user error and produce more consistent, accurate results, says Michelle Dumonceaux, senior marketing manager in the company’s Assure Confident Dia­betes Solutions division. Key system attributes include qcProGuard, a feature that reminds users to perform control solution testing; a “hypo” warning that alerts users about low blood glucose readings; and a strip release button. Users apply 0.5-µL-sized samples to system test strips and can get results in seven seconds, she says.

At LifeScan, 2009 was the year of the “continuous product improvement project,” says marketing manager Theresa Vaughan. This resulted in new and updated data transfer solutions for the company’s SureStep Flexx glucose meter, which features off-meter dosing and has been on the market since 2000. Among the new products for Sure­Step Flexx is the OneTouch DataLink Wireless V3 connectivity solution, which has the “highest level of data transfer and security and authenticity,” and the OneTouch Data­Link UDS 1100, a “client connectivity device for data transfer,” she says. The company plans to introduce later this year another OneTouch DataLink management system, which will allow users to segment data to meet the needs of multi-site hospital systems. The new data management software will be Windows 7 compatible and give users the option to use the SQL 2005, SQL 2008, or SQL Express database versions, Vaughan says.

Roche Diagnostics expects to submit to the FDA in April a next-generation hospital point-of-care glucose monitoring system, says Mary Catherine Coyle, director of product marketing in the company’s hospital point-of-care division. A design goal for the new system is “meter-level wireless communication,” she says. Roche also offers to hospitals its Glycemic Advisor Program, which Coyle describes as a multi-faceted educational resource that gives health care professionals the necessary tools and information to develop and implement glycemic control programs.

At Abbott, the Precision Xceed Pro blood glucose and β-ketone monitoring system has been available since 2007. The system, says Karkantis, is designed to help protect patient safety by minimizing the chances of testing errors, such as patient identification errors, strip contamination, and substance interference. On the data organization side, the company’s PrecisionWeb Guardian automated data management system automates software updates, performs security patches, and coordinates server maintenance.

Also available is Nova’s StatStrip glucose monitoring system, which was introduced in 2006. The meter runs 1.2-µL-sized samples and provides results in six seconds. The company’s StatSensor creatinine monitor, launched in 2008, is a handheld analyzer for whole blood creatinine testing that calculates estimated glom­er­u­lar filtration rate. The renal function screening device, says Rollins, features the company’s Multi-Well technology, which provides test results in 30 seconds from capillary fingerstick samples at the point of care. Nova now offers wireless capabilities for both analyzers for continuous admission, transfer, and discharge and rapid patient data charting as well as for insulin-dosing algorithms.

CAP TODAY’s product guide for bedside glucose testing systems includes products from the aforementioned manufacturers and from HemoCue, International Technidyne, Medtronic MiniMed, and YSI Life Sciences. Companies supplied the information listed. Readers interested in a particular product should confirm it has the stated features and capabilities.

Brendan Dabkowski is CAP TODAY associate editor.

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