• Mihil Ramaiya

Review of the Blucon

Evolution of Technology

It’s 1990s, a type 1 diabetic needs to get his sugar checked. What does he do?


He goes to a lab, gives a sample, waits for 3–4 hours before he can actually know his blood glucose level. And this, does not seem viable considering the fact that a type 1 diabetic must know his sugar level before every meal.

In late 2000’s, thanks to Wasim Akram, almost every Indian household, had a glucometer at home. A type 1 diabetic could now get his glucose levels at home. So now, one could get their current blood glucose levels with a single finger prick. Again, how many times would you prick yourself in a day?


It’s 2021! We do not have flying cars, but, guess what? Our smartwatches give us a view of our sugar levels (and that too, graphically!)

So how did this happen? Let’s dig deep into it.


What is the Blucon?


The Blucon is a device that converts your Flash Glucose Monitoring (FGM) Device into a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM). Oh no! Jargons again? Let us break this down.

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) measure your sugar levels continuously and send data to your display device (a handheld monitor or pump). So you can set alerts for high, low or rate of change. With flash glucose monitoring, you only get your reading and trends when you scan your sensor.

Source : www.diabetes.org.uk


Compatibility


Blucon is compatible with both, Apple as well as Android phones and smartwatches. If you happen to use the cellular version of Apple or Android watches (Series 3+ and Huawei Watch 3 and above respectively), you don’t even need to carry your phone to know your blood glucose levels!


Setup


The setup is really simple. I took no more than 5 minutes to get up and running with the Blucon. It’s intuitive enough. I personally believe that if someone has to actually “instruct” you to setup something, it basically needs work to make it more user friendly. This one was a child’s play!

However, you can go over instructions mentioned on https://www.ambrosiasys.com/how-it-works/


Design and Build Quality


The blucon is a round cap like device that perfectly caps itself over the Libre. It needs to be adhered over the libre though since it doesn’t have any latches in its design. This typically can be done using a tape or a holder. I prefer the latter because it’s less messy and easy to take off and on. The battery (Lithium battery) fits in the slot and goes on for a month.

I used the waterproof model of Blucon and had no issues with it. Did not find any issues after wearing it for showers. As a device, it is pretty sturdy and is able to take a few bumps.


Alarms


The main feature of the Blucon is providing glucose readings on your handhelds without needing to scan your sensor every time you need to know your glucose levels. I must say that the Blucon is an very alert device. It alerts you when your glucose is low/high. Which is a very useful feature to take corrective action.



Say you have not had a chance to scan your sensor for a couple of hours, you may be caught by surprise (an unwanted one) when you scan it. These surprises can be avoided if your Blucon sits on top of your sensor.

Moreover, if the Blucon loses connection with your sensor (if displaced from the top) or your phone, it alerts you!


Connectivity


The Blucon connects to the Apple ecosystem quickly. However, persisting the same becomes an issue at times. There are a few disconnections (1–2 per day) and sometimes needs a reset. I have shared this feedback with the team and they are working on it.

However, when connected, the integration with the iPhone and Apple Watch is a great experience!


Caregiver


This feature is amazing for parents and medical professionals too! A caregiver has access to current blood glucose levels (using the Follow Blucon app) which is a win-win. My mother need not call me since she has my current levels at her fingertips! (this can backfire when your sugar levels are haywire. However, I see it as an opportunity to be motivated to stay in range all the time).



Calibration


It is recommended to calibrate your Blucon once daily. Ideally, one should calibrate when their sugars are stable. So yes, you guessed it right! As soon as you wake up, you should make it a point to calibrate your Blucon and it will work like a charm!


Reports


The LinkBluCon app has a reports option that gives a comprehensive insight on one’s sugar levels. If analysed properly, it proves to be a silver bullet in taking insulin dosing decisions.



Price and Final Thoughts


The Blucon model I used (Waterproof) comes at a price of Rs. 15,000/- and the non-waterproof model comes around Rs. 9000/-. The current model can also activate the Libre Pro (and that means one saves up on the reader that costs Rs. 5,000/-).

So at this cost, I found it worth the money. The caregiver app and the size make it a really good investment!



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