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.