Dario Health is a blood sugar management system that turns your smartphone into a glucose meter. The company can also automatically ship users an unlimited number of test strips. Interested yet? Read on, because Dario is also offering special deals for ASweetLife readers.
The Dario Health team reached out to ASweetLife, thinking that our readers might be interested in the new tech. As a result, I was lucky enough to receive the Dario starter kit and an opportunity to evaluate the new product. This is a sponsored post, but my opinions are all my own.
To put it simply: this meter is a big upgrade for me. It’s smaller, more convenient, and the data-tracking features are miles beyond what an old-school meter could offer.
For me, the immediate and obvious benefit of the Dario glucose meter is how small it is. I’ve had at least a few different glucose meters, and all of them have come with little zippered pouches to carry the three separate elements: meter, test strips and lancing device. The Dario system, which fits in the palm of my hand, is all-in-one—the single unit houses a lancet, a container for test strips, and the meter itself. For me, it’s a big difference, sometimes the difference between fitting everything I need into my pockets and being weighed down by a ‘diabetes bag.’
The reason the device is so small is that it actually turns your smartphone into the glucose meter. The Dario device itself doesn’t have a display of any kind, and works only in conjunction with the smartphone. The way it does this is pretty neat: the all-in-one Dario device contains a tiny glucose strip reader that’s barely the size of a postage stamp. This little strip reader inserts directly into your smartphone’s port, turning the phone itself into a glucose meter.
Setting this up was incredibly easy. As soon as I inserted the meter into my smartphone for the first time, a prompt popped up to download the Dario app, and I was on my way. The little meter accepts a test strip just the same as traditional meters do, and I had no issues using the lancet device, which was relatively painless. (As a bonus, the test strips seem to require a smaller amount of blood than I’m used to, which let me keep the pointy part on shallower settings.)
The primary blood sugar measurement display is large, clear, and easy to read. You can easily toggle to see average blood glucose measurements from the entire day, week or month. But the Dario app goes far beyond glucose monitoring; it can be the hub for your entire data-management effort. The app can track carb counts, insulin doses and activities. The carb counting has a really convenient feature: scanning the bar code of a packaged food with your phone instantly imports the carb count into your own custom database of foods.
Most ASweetLife readers, whether they have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, strike me as very motivated in their glucose management, and motivated users are exactly the customers that will get the most out of this system. There are a ton of features, and the more you use, the more benefit you’ll receive. The app can send you targeted reminders, alerts and guidance. Weekly reports review your trends. Multiple studies have validated that the Dario system can improve glucose management: users experienced HbA1c reductions, fewer hypo- and hyperglycemic events, and enjoyed more in-range measurements.
Dario takes these features to another level with an optional personal coaching service. Luke, one of the Dario coaches, explained to me that coaches try to touch base with new users even before they receive the device. Once a user is squared away with his or her supplies, coaches can walk a user through the many features of the app. Gradually coaches shift their focus toward setting goals and providing motivational support. Luke told me that Dario Health is big on the holistic approach to glucose management—looking at diet and exercise in addition to pharmaceutical and insulin use—and the coaches do their best to help users establish healthy routines. It should be a great option for those that might benefit from a little help, or from the sense of accountability that comes from sharing your progress with a teammate.
Dario offers three different monthly plans, all of which include unlimited test strip refills delivered automatically to your door. A “Pro” plan, the most popular option, adds the personal coaching service, and a “Premium” Plan adds monthly calls with a Certified Diabetes Educator on top of the coaching service. They range in price from $25 per month for the Basic (without the coaching), $33 for the Pro, and $70 for the Premium. Dario is covered by many insurance carriers, and it is eligible for HSA/FSA funds.
Lucky readers, Dario has put together a special offer for you. Click here for our exclusive ASweetLife offer page, and scroll down to the Diabetes Success Plan. If you click the button that says “join today for a free meter,” you’ll have the chance to sign up for one year at the “Pro” level, for just $20 per month, a 39% discount.
For those uninterested in a monthly plan, the meter and strips can also be purchased à la carte. If you’re not ready to sign up for a monthly subscription, our exclusive offer page also has a deal on the Starter Kit: 80% off the sticker price.
The Dario meter is FDA-cleared and meets all accuracy requirements. Anecdotally speaking, I checked my results against my old glucose meter and against a continuous glucose monitor, and all three instruments were in agreement.
A final benefit of turning your phone into a glucose monitor is the ease with which you can share results with family members, friends or caretakers. And in the event of severe hypoglycemia, the phone can send instant alerts to connected users with your blood glucose level and even your GPS location.
I love how small and self-contained this meter is—so easy to slip into a pocket when I’m on the run—and the data tracking and other functions are just gravy. It’s a major upgrade over my old meter. Check out the special offers for ASweetLife readers and see if it might be an upgrade for you too.
This is a sponsored post.
The author received a meter for review. Opinions are his own.