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Why I'm saying "goodbye" to the iBGStar

I’m writing this blog post with a bit of regret. The iBGStar is the one glucometer that has got me testing my blood glucose (BG) 5-6 times a day. I’m an Apple geek. Geeks love technology and the iBGStar is a cool piece of technology that plugs into the one device I always have with me - my iPhone. The iBGStar is sleek, compact and lightweight. It fits snugly on the bottom of my iPhone. I can take my BG reading directly while the iBGStar is attached or download data later. I can add little notes to each reading as well as enter how many carbohydrates I’m about to eat and how much insulin I’m taking. I can graph my readings over 7, 30, or 90 day intervals and export my data (via CSV and email) for further analysis. I love this meter.

However, I’ve found one significant downside - at least for me - to the iBGStar. The BGStar test strips are $67 for a 50 count bottle. As I mentioned I test 5-6 times a day. A bottle of test strips lasts about 10 days. A month of testing will cost me $201. Yike! Things wouldn’t be so bad if I could get these through my health insurer. I tried to. However, I received a note from them indicating that they are unable to obtain any test strips. That’s the second problem with the iBGStar. The test strips are available exclusively through Walgreens. My insurance company can’t obtain any and hence can’t provide coverage. There are no Walgreens in my town.

I bought the iBGStar because I could have access to my meter data. None of the other meters I’ve used in the past allow export of data to a Mac. My initial plan was to buy the strips out of pocket for a short while and submit claims to the insurance company. I had hoped that the constraint on supply would be temporary. However, it’s been a few months and I don’t expect the situation will change soon. It’s not convenient to drive the 15-20 minutes every time I run out of strips. It’s not convenient to collect receipts and mail claim forms to the health insurer every month. It’s just not worth it.

I’m sorry Sanofi. You’ve failed me. I can not continue to use this device. I’m moving on. Time to check out the Contour USB and the Accu-chek Nano.

Author: Khürt Williams

human being, information security architect, avid photographer, nature lover, F1 fanatic, drinker of beer.

12 thoughts on “Why I'm saying "goodbye" to the iBGStar”

  1. Khurt,
    Thanks for the heads up.  Your 722 post about your wife firing your endo was quite an interesting read. The difference was startling between the "our" versus "you" approach.  I hope all goes well with your new Endo!
    Look forward to your post!

    1. @Tracy DeMiroz It's up! See "The Glooko cable is now part of my diabetes kit"

  2. Khurt,
    If you end up with the ACCU-CHEK Nano, please check out Glooko Logbook --  I am biased since I work at Glooko, but with our Glooko MeterSync Cable you can automatically download the readings from your meter into the Glooko logbook app on your iPhone.  From there,  you can take notes, review trends, share, and export as an CSV file.
    Tracy DeMiroz

    1.  @Tracy DeMiroz I "reviewed" the Glooko cable solution last year (  I stopped using it because of the hassle of needing to carry the cable in addition to everything else (insulin pen, needles, test strips, meter).  I had LifeScan OneTouch meters at the time.  If I change meters I would need a new cable.

      1.  @khurtwilliams Khurt, my apologies -- I didn't see your review, but happy to know that you've tried our products.  The same Glooko MeterSync Cable you used with your OneTouch will work with the ACCU-CHEK Nano you're considering.  We support 11 meters (listed here: and you can download readings from any of these meters into Glooko Logbook.  In fact, you use the Glooko MeterSync Cable with multiple meter types you might be using (at work, at home, etc.), and all of the readings will be transferred into the app and arranged into one timeline
        I would love to know more about your Glooko experience and if you have any suggestions. As an aside, of course, a frequent request is charts & graphs which are on our product roadmap. We recently introduced Glooko Logbook Charts in the European Union. It's been submitted to the FDA and we expect to make it available in the US in the near future.  Thx, Tracy

        1.  @Tracy DeMiroz It wasn't much of a review now that I looked at that link.  I'll have to do a full proper one in the near future.  I did not know the cable was compatible will different meter types.  Cool!  What about the FreeStyle Flash?  I have two of those.

        2.  @khurtwilliams Khurt -- would be great if you did a full review -- we'd love that!   We are compatible with the FreeStyle Freedom Lite and FreeStyle Lite.  Thx!

        3.  @Tracy DeMiroz Check back on the main page of my blog around 4 PM today.   I'll have my perspective on the Glooko cable.

        4.  @Tracy DeMiroz  Check back on the main page of my blog around 4 PM today.   I'll have my perspective on the Glooko cable.

        5.  @Tracy DeMiroz  Check back on the main page of my blog around 4 PM today.   I'll have my perspective on the Glooko cable.

        6.  @Tracy DeMiroz  Check back on the main page of my blog around 4 PM today.   I'll have my perspective on the Glooko cable.

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