Posted by on Monday, 19 March 2012

iBGStar - Designed to read high?

After posting my little write-up about the iBGStar last week I was interested to receive some follow-up from the boffins at Sanofi over the weekend.

You may recall that when I sent some feedback from my sneak peek/trial of the iBGStar I was called by a lovely representative of Sanofi who asked me to send back the first meter which seemed to be giving peculiarly high readings so that they could take a look at it. Sadly the replacement meter that they sent gave very similar results.

Here are some extracts from the letter:

"The returned device and test strips were both tested and were found to meet all the required specifications and function normally. However the manufacturing site has advised us that due to the new technology used in the iBGStar monitor, there can be results variations if directly compared to a different type of monitor."

No surprise there, Sherlock.

"The iBGStar has been developed to give readings which are automatically corrected against Haematocrit* and plasma values. Both of these corrections can mean that your new iBGStar monitor may give readings higher than you are used to. If you have any concerns over what this change of readings may mean, we would advise you to consult your doctor or other healthcare practitioner for further training."

It would seem that whatever correction factor(s) Sanofi have used for the iBGStar it is likely to read higher than other monitor(s) you might be using at the moment. Which begs the question - why did they use those correction factors? Plus or minus 20% of a reading is a pretty flippy-floppy requirement, but I don't see any reason to make maximum use of this variability all the time, unless all the other meters are getting it wrong.

If you are considering switching to the iBGStar it would probably worth keeping back half a pot of strips from your old monitor and cross-checking between the two over a few days. That way you will have some sort of idea what differences in readings (if any) might be involved for you, and be able to adjust (or talk to your clinic about adjusting) your correction factors accordingly.

*Haematocrit refers to how densely packed the red blood cells are in a sample - blood samples usually consist of 40-45% red blood cells. This varies from person to person (or, for example, with dehydration) and can raise or lower the apparent BG reading.


  1. I had a similarly higher than expected results from my OneTouch Verio Pro. I sent it back and the new one was exactly the same. When I questioned they said the meter is more accurate.

    The result of this for me has been:
    1. My control has got tighter on the new meter -because I'm aiming for a tighter window

    2. I now treat a result under 4.5 as a hypo -rather results under 4.0

  2. Enjoyed your review of the ibgstar and am looking to purchase either this unit or the Glucodock. However, the higher readings are a little disconcerting! I understand it was a "non-scientific" test, but at the moment I use the Bayer USB Contour and test/inject approximately 6-8 times a day, a higher reading - especially one of over 5mmol would require that in my case, I take a 1 unit correction and possibly end in a low hypo - a feeling that like many diabetics I can't stand. At the moment as well, I find my GP or DCN isn't quite up to date given that I personally look for better ways to record and control my diabetes, so discussing this variation with them would be to no avail...!

  3. I have just spent a week in Hospital for an unrelated complaint but had my blood glucose measured twice a day with readings between 6 and 9 mmol on returning home I used my IBGStar and the readings were on average 11 mmol which was higher than the hospital readings so I am somewhat confused as to the IBGStars worth