Do you struggle to achieve your glucose targets? If you struggle to keep on top of your blood glucose levels, it may be time to look for an easy and quick home testing solution. In our guide, we explore how the A1cNow Self-Check can help you keep track of your blood glucose levels.
What is the A1cNow Self-Check?
The A1cNow Self Check is a device that allows diabetes patients to measure and monitor their glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Using the device allows those with diabetes to monitor their average blood sugar levels over a 2–3-month period.
Monitoring HbA1c levels allows those with diabetes to better monitor their condition. Taking appropriate steps to reduce HbA1c levels also reduces the risk of developing severe complications, such as permanent eye damage, kidney damage, or cardiovascular disease.
The higher the A1c reading, the greater the sugar in the blood. All that is required is a small fingerstick blood sample. An HbA1c reading can also benefit general health checks so that appropriate medical advice can be sought.
Why should you use the A1cNow Self-Check?
It’s estimated that around 60% of those diagnosed with diabetes find it difficult to sustain glycaemic control over three years. A lack of testing and inaccurate monitoring can explain why people struggle to control their blood sugar levels.
Struggling to sustain glycaemic control increases the risk of developing diabetes complications, such as blindness, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Accurate measurements of blood sugar levels can be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing such complications.
Research by the UK Prospective Diabetes Study has shown that a 1% reduction in A1c levels in those with type 1 diabetes can reduce the risk of developing microvascular complications by up to 37%. It can also result in a 21% reduction in developing diabetic-related complications.
All that is required to test HbA1c levels is a small 5 µL fingerstick blood sample. Once the test is underway, you can get the results in 5 minutes. No maintenance is required for the device to operate; it works straight out of the box.
The device is particularly beneficial when healthcare professionals have advised checking A1c levels four times yearly. The Self-Check device avoids travelling to labs or surgeries for an A1c test. The A1cNow device provides a more convenient and reliable option.
How does the A1cNow Self-Check work?
The A1cNow Self-Check is a small and convenient device to measure HbA1c levels in your blood over an 8–12-week period. As the device is small and compact, it can be used anywhere and at any time. HbA1c measurements can be taken using the device in the comfort of your own home.
The device allows for quick and reliable HbA1c testing. Using a small fingerstick blood sample, the device uses chemical reactions to determine your blood’s A1c levels. You don’t need to fast or eat a special diet before taking the test.
Using the device is simple and only requires six steps to get an accurate HbA1c reading:
- Collect blood using the lancet provided.
- Insert blood into the collector.
- Shake the collector so the blood sample mixes with the reaction solution.
- Insert the test cartridge into the device.
- Dispense the blood sample into the cartridge.
- Read the results shown on the screen after 5 minutes.
View this online tutorial from the manufacturer showing how to use the A1cNow device.
The A1cNow Self-Check device is programmed to work for four tests. As the device is disposable, once all four tests provided have been used, the device can be safely deposited. Each analysing device is only programmed to work with four test cartridges.
The device can be stored at room temperature and does not require refrigeration if used within four months. For safety and accurate reporting, you should only remove each test from its pouch when using it. Removing the cartridge too early will cause inaccurate results.
Additional cartridges cannot be purchased separately as the device will fail to read more than four tests. Everything needed to conduct the four tests successfully is included inside the box. Included inside the box:
- 1x analysing device
- 4x cartridge pouches
- 4x shaker pouches
- 1x blood collector
- 1x disposable fingerstick lancet
- Quick reference guide
- An overview and helpful hint guide
As red blood cells have a lifespan of 12 weeks, it is unnecessary to conduct more than the provided tests. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that A1c levels be tested four times yearly. The A1cNow device should not replace professional testing. Continue consulting with a healthcare provider on meeting glycemic levels.
Are there any complications using the device?
As the device only requires a small blood sample taken from a small finger prick and is carried out externally, there are no side effects to using the A1cNow Self-Check device. However, some may find the prick needed for the blood sample uncomfortable.
Using the device does not hurt. While a small finger prick is required to collect a blood sample for the test, the testing process does not hurt and is carried out externally. The lancet used for making a small finger prick feels like a sharp scratch.
When using the safety lancet to withdraw blood from your finger, it is recommended that you are seated during the blood withdrawal process. Drawing blood can cause nausea, dizziness, looking pale, a drop in heart rate or blood pressure, or fainting.
While the A1cNow device is suitable for those with diabetes to quickly and easily monitor A1c levels, the device is not ideal for everyone. It is recommended that pregnant women and young children do not use the device. You should also avoid using the device if you have:
Different haemoglobin variants
- Bleeding disorder
- Heavy bleeding
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
The device is designed for single use and should not be shared with others. Sharing the device with others increases the risk of cross-contamination or inaccurate results.
Is the device reliable?
The A1cNow Self-Check device provides a near-accurate A1c measurement. The device is not as accurate as laboratory tests and can differ from -11 to +9 mmol/mol. However, using the device provides a quick and easy way to monitor A1c levels over an extended period at home.
As professional tests carried out in a medical setting use different technologies for testing A1c levels, it is unlikely the A1cNow Self-Check device will provide exact results. It is advisable to discuss using the A1cNow device with a healthcare professional first or if the results significantly differ.
Such tests allow for a better quality of life by taking appropriate steps to reduce high blood sugar levels. The test can also determine whether any lifestyle choices or changes discussed with a medical professional work and should be used alongside professional tests.
The device is most suited to those on an existing treatment plan who need to monitor A1c levels regularly. You should not make any lifestyle or diet changes based on the results of the A1cNow test. The test should also not be used to diagnose diabetes.
The device also uses over 50 internal chemical and electronic quality control checks built into the device to keep it working at its optimum. Any errors are displayed on the screen. The device is manufactured by PTS Diagnostics, who are renowned for their innovative and accurate technology.
The device is also certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardisation Program, NGSP-certified, IFCC-traceable, CE-marked for self-test use, and CLIA-waived, ensuring the A1cNow device follows standardised A1c test, complies with all essential requirements, and is cleared for home use.
There have been instances where the device has given a false reading. However, this is only with those with a condition affecting their blood or haemoglobin. Other medical conditions, such as anaemia, heavy bleeding, or kidney disease, can also result in false readings.
How are the results displayed?
The A1cNow Self-Check device has a screen that displays the results for up to an hour after taking the test. You should wait around 5 minutes for the test to complete before a reading is given. The device can be displayed as DCCT, a percentage, or IFCC, mmol/mol.
The result may sometimes show, as a percentage, the DCCT (Diabetes Control and Complications Trail) measurement. This is an older value for measuring HbA1c levels. A DCCT online converter can obtain a mmol/mol reading.
The higher the DCCT percentage, the higher your blood glucose levels. A normal A1c DCCT reading is less than 5.7%. However, the A1cNow device can also display your reading in a measurement of mmol/mol or the IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry) reading.
The IFCC is an international coherent measurement for monitoring A1c levels worldwide and replaces the older DCCT measurement. An ideal IFCC measurement is 48mmol/mol or below. Those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes should be below 42mmol/mol.
The A1cNow Self-Check device is an effective and reliable method for testing blood glucose levels. Taking the test at home with results available in 5 minutes makes monitoring and managing diabetes much easier. Order your device today and enjoy quality of life.