While I am not diabetic I used to be obese and now I am fit, I am also a gadget geek that love to track stats. My previous health choices have always made me a bit paranoid about diabetes but tests done by my GP have confirmed I am fine.

I was still interested in reviewing the new all-in-one Dario glucose smart meter, though. I am still curious to see how my body reacts to various situations. For example, I still tend to eat very large meals, and I can suffer quite badly from postprandial dips at lunch time, and this seems particularly bad when I eat a lot of bread. I also follow intermittent fasting, so I generally only eat during an 8-hour window. For my personal purposes, a spent a few days testing my blood levels multiple times per day to get a better reading of how my blood sugar levels peak and trough throughout the day.

As I am not diabetic, I don’t have any other device to compare the results to, I will just assume they are accurate.

The device itself is an all plastic multi-compartment type cartridge. It stores your test strips, the headphone jack device, and the lancet gun. This makes it very easy to carry around with you. It is easily small enough to fit in a pocket without creating too much of a bulge.

As I haven’t used a device like this before, setting it up was a little confusing, I didn’t find the instructions to be very clear. However, once I had worked it out, it seemed quite straightforward in hindsight. If you are familiar with glucose meters, it is probably a lot simpler.

Once the device was set up everything else was very easy. The app was easy to download, install and sign up to. Performing the test will be exactly the same as any other glucose meter, you just prick your finger and add the drop to the test strip. The app guides you through the process too, telling you to insert the test strip and add your drop of blood.

The test was carried out quickly, within a couple of seconds, and you can the assign specific data to each test result. So you can mark the test as pre-meal, or post. Some of the key features advertised by Dario include:

  • Real-time, easy-to-access information – all available at your fingertips
  • Saves time and makes life easier – your results are automatically logged and synced – no more need to write in paper log books
  • Data insights, analysis, and pattern recognition – understand why your blood glucose levels change
  • Actionable alerts and reminders – enhance situation awareness and keep on track of your readings
  • Track your insulin doses easily
  • Log your carbs and calories – our localised food menu makes your favourite foods quickly available to you

My results generally ranged from 3.7 nmol/L to 5.1nmol/L which seems to be healthy from my basic understanding. I also got an estimated A1C of 4.3%, which again seems to be healthy from my understanding, though I know even less about the A1C reading than I do blood glucose levels!

Priced at just £15 including 50 test strips the Dario is very competitively priced with other meters on the market, you do not seem to be paying much if any premium to have a smartphone-based glucose meter compared to a simpler one. Based on the price, and the convenience of being able to permanently track your results and trends then this seems like a no-brainer for anyone wanting or needing to monitor their blood glucose levels.

There are a couple of caveats here though for Android it is only supported on LG G3, G4, Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S7, Galaxy Note 4,5 with the iPhone it only goes back to the 4S. There are also reports that Apple will be dropping the headphone jack so the device could be made redundant in the future. However, at £15, for me personally, this puts the Dario in the pricing range of what I would class as disposable, even if I had to buy a new device every year, the convenience of keeping all the data on my phone outweighs the cost.