The Nova Max Link is unique among the glucometers we reviewed because it can send your glucose levels wirelessly to a Medtronic insulin pump. The test strips are some of the most affordable available. However, we didn't find them in most of the pharmacies we visited, which means you have to order them online.
Test-Strip Costs & Availability
We visited local pharmacies and online diabetic supply stores to check the availability and average cost of each glucometer's test strips. We didn't find the Nova Max Link's test strips in any of the local pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Target. However, you can find them at most online diabetic supply stores. This means you have to make sure you order the test strips well in advance of running out.
When purchased in a pack of 100, these strips cost an average of 41 cents each, and in a pack of 50, they cost an average of 47 cents each. For comparison, the most expensive test strips among the glucometers we reviewed run about $1.39 per strip, and the most expensive test strips on the market can cost more than $2 each. The Nova Max strips are definitely on the affordable end of the spectrum. In addition, Nova has an Instant Savings Card program that can help you save money on its test strips.
Design & Features
The Link's distinguishing feature is that it connects wirelessly to Medtronic insulin pumps. When you take a reading, the data transfers to the insulin pump, which can then inject you with the necessary dose of insulin. However, most people with diabetes don't require an insulin pump, so this isn't a feature that's in high demand.
The Link doesn't have a high-contrast display, and the standard LCD screen can be difficult to read if you have poor eyesight. It's an average size and comes with a case that you can slip into a pocket, purse or backpack.
Ease of Use
The Nova Max Link requires a very small blood sample size: 0.3 microliters. This is the smallest blood sample required by any glucometer on the market. When combined with the small 33-gauge lancets, it's one of the least painful glucose meters to use. You can also test on sites other than your fingertips. It takes 5 seconds for a reading, which is typical for glucometers. The Nova Max Link can accurately read blood glucose levels between 20 and 600 mg/dL, according to the company.
The Final Verdict
The Nova Max Link is a compact glucometer that uses very little blood. It can wirelessly transfer your readings to an insulin pump for accurate dosages based on your glucose levels. The test strips are affordable and available at most online stores, but they're not as easy to find in local pharmacies.