OneTouch offers several glucometers, and the Ultra 2 is one of the more popular models, with test strips found in nearly every pharmacy. A major bonus is that traditional Medicare Part B covers both the cost of the meter and the ongoing costs of the test strips, which can be a huge deciding factor in choosing a glucometer.
Test-Strip Costs & Availability
When you're choosing a glucometer, one of the most important considerations is its test strips, because they are proprietary to each company and the costs can add up over the long term. So we visited local pharmacies and online diabetic supply stores to evaluate both the availability and average prices of each glucometer's test strips. The Ultra 2's test strips are available in almost every store, so you can purchase refills at places like Walgreens and CVS when you run out. The downside is that they are expensive — about $1.32 per test strip. This isn't the most expensive test strip in our review, but it's close. There are better glucometers with test strips that cost less than 50 cents each.
The OneTouch Ultra 2 is the only glucometer we reviewed that requires coding. When you start a new vial of test strips, you must enter a code to calibrate your meter for the new batch of strips. This is a dated technology that most meters do not require.
Design & Features
One of the OneTouch Ultra 2's biggest drawbacks is that it requires coding for the test strips. This means you have to enter the code on the side of the test-strip vial before you test your blood. It's an added step that makes the entire process much longer than it needs to be.
The OneTouch Ultra 2 makes it easy to track your blood glucose readings, as it holds up to 500 test results in its internal memory. A single CR2032 battery can power the unit for more than six months, but the exact battery life depends on how many times you test each day.
The Ultra 2 is compatible with the OneTouch Diabetes Management Software. It works on computers running Windows and is free to download, but to transfer data, you need to buy a OneTouch USB cable to attach your glucose meter to your computer.
Ease of Use
The Ultra 2 requires a larger blood sample than any other glucometer we reviewed: 1.0 microliter. The glucose meter comes with the OneTouch Delica lancing device, which uses 30- or 33-gauge lancets and can be set for seven different depths. So although it requires a relatively large blood sample, you can adjust the settings to make the prick less painful.
The Final Verdict
The OneTouch Ultra 2 is a reliable and fast glucometer, and the testing supplies are covered by Medicare Part B. However, although the test strips are easy to find, they aren't the cheapest. The Ultra 2 is a tried-and-true glucometer, but that also means it is a bit dated; it still uses coding and isn't compatible with the OneTouch app.