All About the MyDario Glucose Meter
- compact enough to fit in a pocket if needed
- can share blood glucose readings with loved ones and your healthcare team
- offers an emergency “hypo alert” feature that can send text messages to up to 4 contacts, plus a link to your location using your smartphone’s GPS coordinates
- offers an in-app carb counter
- no batteries/charging required
- the app is free
- expensive without insurance
- requires a compatible smartphone
- small device can make some of the aspects/tools hard to use/difficult to access
- unable to change the glucose ranges in app to your preferences
- nontraditional glucose meter/app use may be difficult to understand or learn for some
What is the Dario meter?
The Dario is a glucose meter that helps people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels.
The Dario meter is from Israel-based LabStyle Innovations has been in the works for years, launched internationally in 2013, and was under FDA review until 2018.
Aside from the now-defunct iBGStar meter, it is the first meter of its kind that physically plugs into a smartphone in order to check blood sugars. It also provides shareable statistics and information regarding a user’s blood glucose readings.
The app offers a food database of nearly 500,000 food items, that helps remove the guesswork from carb counting by doing the math for you (using the insulin-to-carb ratio that you input).
It also includes a database with activities ranging from walking, biking, and golfing, to skiing and running to help you keep track of the glucose impacts of exercise. You can also tag your moods, whether you are tired, stressed, or traveling, and other parameters for your records.
Perhaps most impactful is the emergency “hypo alert” feature that will alert designated up to 4 designated contacts with a GPS alert if you have a dangerously low blood sugar — and you can set that threshold yourself.
Dario also offers an option to pay for access to a personalized diabetes program and a personal coach who will help you understand the app, review your health history, set goals, and receive check-ins via the app’s chat feature or by scheduling a phone call. (See below on pri
What users say about the Dario glucose meter
Overall, customer feedback is generally positive, receiving an average of 3.8 stars out of 5 across 200 user generated reviews on Google and a 4.4 out of 5-star rating across 3,840 reviews on Amazon.
Many users say they switched due to the meter’s small and compact design. Others, however, noted that while the meter itself is small this is negated by having to use a smart phone.
Reviews have generated a variety of reports on accuracy. Many users have stated the device is accurate and precise, whereas some users have reported high readings while using the meter.
Other common complaints are related to the device’s cost, privacy concerns, and difficulties using the supplies that are provided with the meter, such as the lancets or test strips.
Where can you get the Dario glucose meter?
Unlike some diabetes supplies, no prescription is required for a Dario glucose meter.
You can purchase the device directly from the manufacturer MyDario in a subscription model if interested, which includes unlimited test strips delivered to your door. The plan options are Basic ($25 per month for basic supplies only), Pro ($33/month including access to a personal Dario coach), or Premium ($70/month including a personal Dario coach and professional diabetes educator.)
You can also purchase the meter and supplies from Amazon, Walmart, or BestBuy. The retail cost of the meter is $84.99 (not including taxes) and includes 10 lancets, 25 test strips, and 10 disposable covers to place around your phone while checking your blood sugar to avoid getting blood on your smart phone.
A box of 100 MyDario lancets costs $8.99, a box of 100 test strips costs $59.99, and a box of 100 disposable covers costs $14.99.
Dario does offer third-party insurance coverage for U.S. consumers who want their products reimbursed by insurance. If you use insurance to purchase your Dario supplies, costs will vary depending on your individual insurance plan.
How to use the Dario glucose meter
Overall, the Dario follows a similar procedure to check blood glucose as other glucose monitors, except for the use of a smartphone. To use the Dario glucose meter:
- Open test strip package.
- Remove cartridge cover, then insert the test strip cartridge until it snaps into place.
- Close white cover.
- Remove orange cover.
- Insert a new lancet.
- Twist off lancet cap. You can adjust the lancet depth to 1 of 4 settings; setting #1 is the shallowest and #4 is the deepest.
- Close the orange cover.
To check blood glucose:
- If desired, insert the phone into a disposable cover included in the Dario Welcome Kit. Place the audio jack to fit the opening at the bottom of the disposable cover. (Using this cover is optional, you can easily check blood sugar without it.)
- Open the Dario application.
- Slide your thumb back on the ridged orange panel to release the Dario meter.
- Grasp the meter with two fingers and remove it from the housing.
- Plug the Dario meter into the lightning plug, the Dario logo should be facing up.
- Once connected, the app will prompt you to insert a new test strip.
- Remove white cover.
- Open the cartridge lid.
- Remove a test strip and close the cartridge lid to protect the remaining test strips and put the white cover back on.
- Insert a test strip into the test strip port. The app will let you know when a test strip has been successfully inserted.
- Load the lancing device by sliding down.
- Place the lancing device on to the side of your fingertip and press the lancet release button to prick your finger.
- Apply a drop of blood to the tip of the test strip.
- Wait six seconds and then receive test results.
You can check out the user manual to learn more Dario glucose meter.
How accurate is the Dario glucose meter?
In order for a glucose meter used by people with diabetes at home, the FDA requires that 95 percent of all measured blood glucose meter values must be within 15 percent of the true value, and 99 percent of meter values must be within 20 percent of the true value.
The Dario reports a 95 percent accuracy within a ±15 percent range.
Other glucose monitor options
This functionality of this device is similar to almost all other traditional glucose meters. What sets Dario apart, however, is its compact design including built-in test strips and lancets, and its use of a smartphone.
Unlike some other glucose monitor systems, such as the Medtronic Contour Next Link, the Dario device is not currently linked with any insulin pump device.
Perhaps most similar is the One Drop Chrome glucose meter, which measures .75 inches X 1.25 inches X 0.5 inches. Both the Chrome and Dario systems are praised for their sleek and compact designs, making them easy to carry and discreet.
Traditional glucose monitoring systems, like the Dario, are drastically different from today’s constant glucose monitors (CGM). Traditional glucose monitors require finger pokes and a small drop of blood, whereas many CGMs are able to calibrate without the use of any blood. Additionally, CGMs require a user to wear a small transmitter 24/7 in order to constantly read blood glucose readings and transmit the information to a smart device or another handheld glucose monitor, whereas meters like the Dario only provide one glucose reading at a time.
Overall, the Dario glucose meter proves to be an exciting new technology in terms of traditional glucose monitors. Its sleek design makes it accessible and easy to carry with you, but the technology is also the first of its kind by using a smart device and app to check a user’s blood sugar.
The Dario meter may be ideal for you if you are looking for a traditional glucose monitoring system that also has additional features, such as carb tracking, hypoglycemia alerts, and share blood glucose averages.