An overview of the TrueMetrix GO, a small meter that fits on top of a bottle of strips. Also, a brief review of the two software packages, the True Metrix TrueManager software, and the Tidepool web-based software.
This is my main meter, and I’m biased in its favor, but I’ll try to be neutral.
This meter is tiny: a small puck that attaches to the cap on a bottle of strips, and a cozy sleeve that wraps around the bottle, and holds the lancing device. Unlike most kits, there’s no space for additional lancets.
This is small enough to fit into your pocket, though I keep it in a bag. The lancing device is only 3 inches long.
The entire setup is discreet, and I can test pretty much anywhere I might have food. I just wash my finger, pop the cap, get a strip inserted, lance myself, and meter. 30 seconds and I’m done.
The Go connects to a computer with a Micro-USB cable, the type of cable used on most older Android phones. These are widely available, and cheap. If you ask around, you can get one for free. (The GO shows up as “NDI USB Data Device” in the devices settings; this appears to be a USB-to-serial converter, but doesn’t show up as a COM port.)
The device uses a CR2032 battery, which is also pretty commonplace. I don’t think the device will charge from the USB port.
The single button makes the Go hard to set up and use. You use presses, long presses, and wait for 5 seconds to set the date and time.
A printed manual comes with the device, but you can find the manual online, as well, which is important, because you’ll need it during setup.
When you use the single button to read data, you can only move backward through the list of readings. So, to gather lots of data, you sometimes need to connect to a computer and download the data.
Look at the Prodigy review for comparative data. I don’t know how accurate GO is, but I find it functional for my needs, for managing type 2 diabetes through diet.
TrueMetrix links out to a paper that found their meter to be accurate. So, I accept that.
Personally, I think it reads about 5-10 points high, but have no proof. What I do is meter when I get a blood test. They typically do a glucose test, and put that in your records. I usually get 85 mg/dl to 95 mg/dl, but I rarely see 85 mg/dl on my meter. It’s usually bottoming out at 95 mg/dl.
I have not tested consistency between strips, or between batches. My impression is that results are pretty consistent, but sometimes, you get an outlier strip that seems to be off. (I may perform these tests in the future.)
You have two software options to download and view the data on the meter.
TrueManager is software to download the glucometer data and produce reports. It only runs on Windows, and supports up to Windows 10.
Once installed, the software is simple to use. You plug your device into the computer, and the software starts up, and downloads the data, without your intervention.
The software supports multiple meters, and appears to be designed for a doctor with multiple patients. The data can be exported to a CSV file.
Tidepool is a web-based blood glucose meter logging and reporting tool. To copy data from the TrueMetrix GO to the website, register as a user, and download a program called Tidepool Uploader.
Tidepool has created Uploader for Windows and Mac.
If you have the Go, and a Mac, this is how you can copy data out of your device.
Unlike True Manager, Tidepool doesn’t start up automatically. You press a button to upload your data. It’s easy. After it’s uploaded, you can click a button to open Chrome to view your data and reports.
The reports are a little different from TrueManager’s, and are more “bird’s eye” high-altitude views of your data, without all the numbers visible. You can see the details by checking off some boxes at the bottom of the pages, to see the numerical data.
I found the UI a little confusing. Partly, it’s just a complex program. Partly, it’s the pastel colors and small type that make it hard to spot features. Once you do it, though, it’s easy.
Tidepool Collects Your Data
Tidepool is a project to collect blood glucose data, and they’ll ask to share your data. If you do this, they will basically own your data, and use it to conduct research about diabetes and blood glucose.
Whether you want this Tidepool project to collect your data, or not, is critical decision. Personally, I am willing to give them my data. This is invasive, but I support more research into Type 2 diabetes.
You may not feel the same way. If that’s the case, you will need to consider the limitations of the TrueMetrix software.
I wish, in exchange for my data, the healthcare system were willing to, say, pay for diabetes supplies, or healthcare, or something, but that’s not the way things work in America, unfortunately.
Perhaps, one day, once enough data is being collected, the people can hold a strike, and stop the production of new knowledge by the established powers, and make demands upon the system.
Low Cost Supplies
This meter is typically sold through drug stores, which rebrand the device. I got mine from Walgreens, which had a promotion on them, so I could get it for free.
I purchased strips, but also found that I could get bulk supplies on Ebay, for around $7 to $9 per bottle of strips. I lucked out and got a bunch for $5 per bottle, and have been using that batch since.
The way to get the supplies at a lower price is to buy a few bottles at once. The suppliers are a bit more “random”, so you need to keep track of them, so you can find them again. The company that makes the meters seems to be in Florida, so I tend to search for Florida-based suppliers, figuring that they might be getting overstock locally.
I have not tested expired strips. So far, I’ve had enough unexpired strips, and haven’t sought out a discount source of expired strips.
The Go is an affordable meter with an available supply of strips at low prices.
It’s a bit painful to set up, but extremely easy to use, once you’re used to it.