Clin Chem Lab Med 2013 May;51(5):943-52
Roche Diagnostics, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Glucose meters have improved considerably since they were first introduced in 1960, but many questions are being asked about their accuracy and reliability in certain clinical situations. These questions have arisen because of the widespread use of these meters into clinical areas they have not been designed for such as critical care. The lack of understanding by some health professionals on factors that affect glucose results, such as sample type, glucose test strip methodologic limitations, calibration to recognized reference methods, and interferences, leads to misleading results that may affect patient care. Much debate continues on the quality specifications for glucose meters. Because there is an extensive use of these meters in different clinical scenarios, the setting of quality specifications will remain a challenge for regulatory and professional organizations. In this article, we have attempted to collect and provide relevant information addressing the limitations above. Pivotal to obtaining the best quality of results is education, particularly for diabetic patients monitoring their glucose. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine through its Point-of-Care Testing Task Force and its Working Group on Glucose Point-of-Care Testing is actively working toward improving the quality of glucose results by improving education and working with the industry to improve strip performance and work toward the better standardization of strips.