Managing diabetes well has become an increasingly important requirement with more and more people falling prey to the ‘sugary sweet illness’, diabetes. Thanks to technology there have been many devices flooding the market offering you accurate and more precise results on the blood glucose levels and other parameters with a simple prick on the finger.

If you hear about the point of care A1C test systems, then you are probably curious about how it works and how well it works. Here we will look in detail at one of the most popular A1C test kits, the A1C Now® + system manufactured by PTS Diagnostics.

Let us first understand what A1C is all about and why it is a crucial factor to be aware of for diabetic patients.

What is A1C?

HbA1c; in medical terms, it is called as the Glycated hemoglobin or the hemoglobin that is directly bound to the glucose in the blood. As the glucose surges higher, so will the A1C presence in our blood, which is a clear indicator of the rise in blood sugar. Monitoring the levels of the A1C will help us to have a better picture on the sugar levels in our blood.

A1C below 5.7 % is considered ‘normal’, and anything above 6.5% considered ‘diabetes’ so has to be handled based on the severity of the reading. A reading between 5.7 – 6.4% is considered ‘prediabetes‘.

Doctors believe A1C reading provides a more accurate picture of the severity of your diabetes than the regular blood sugar level testing.

The A1C Now®+ System

Now that we know that A1C is a better indicator of the blood sugar levels, we need means to know its level at any given time. However, lab tests from yesteryear take days for results by which time it could probably be too late. Yet, thanks to technological advancement in medicine, we now have systems that offer instantaneous A1C results.

The A1C Now + system offer the professionals and the amateurs an easy and quick way to assess the levels of A1C in blood with a mere finger stick. The physicians can now have a quick check on the instant A1C levels and provide immediate medical assistance as required for their patients. This system is called “A1CNow+ Professional”.

And, it is not just something for the professionals either. Anyone, who has never had a clash with medical books, can use this at home to know the current A1C levels. The home test system is called “A1CNow Self Check”.

From Where I Can Buy It?

This is available at Amazon.

If you are from the US, UK, Canada or another country, here is the link.

How does it work?

The A1C Now+ system helps in understanding the glucose level of a person instantly, at lab accuracy, in the value of HbA1c, whether you want to do at home or office. All that you need is a drop of blood from your finger to gauge the A1C levels in your blood. And it is quite simple to use by following the manufacturers guidelines.

Here is what the instructions look like. I have provided a video at the end of this page too.

  • Lance the finger and collect the blood into the blood collector device. You have to make sure that the collector device is full before moving the blood to the sampler.
  • Now plug-in the collector device to the sampler and ensure that it is capped tightly without any gaps.
  • Shake the sampler well for about 6-7 times and keep it aside.
  • It is now the time to open the test cartridge pack. Remember this should not be opened until this time.
  • You should make sure that the number on the test cartridge matches with that of the same on your monitor to ensure accurate results.
  • Now fix the test cartridge into the monitor and wait until the monitor says “SMPL.”
  • Now remove the cap on the sampler and place the end on the area in the test cartridge provided for the same. Just insert it and remove it immediately.
  • The monitor will now display “RUN” which means that the calculation is underway.
  • It will take about 5 minutes for the result to be displayed until which time you should not disturb the cartridge or the monitor.

Few points to remember

  • Always check if the lot numbers on the monitor, the test cartridge and the blood dilution kit matches.
  • The collector has to be filled in full but neither in excess nor in shortage as it will end up in a failed test.
  • The sampler and the collector should be attached tightly to avoid any gaps or inaccurate testing.
  • When you press the sampler onto the test cartridge, make sure that it is pressed only for a second before removing and waiting for the test results.

Benefits of A1C Now+ system

Apart from being convenient to use anywhere the A1C Now+ also have other benefits which make it a better choice in the point of care A1C test devices.

  • Strong scientific support about accuracy of the system. There is a strong research base since 2010 and an example research article is here.
  • The results are available instantly in a matter of five minutes with only very minimal blood input.
  • The amount of the blood require to successfully complete the test is similar to the blood you need with a regular glucometer. (So, you can use the same lancer, which you use with glucometer)
  • There is no need for professional training and can be used by anyone.
  • As a general guide, one test every 2-3 months is recommended.
  • There is no maintenance charges or servicing to be done
  • Easy to take it along when travelling.
  • Comes with international certifications including clearance from FDA.
  • Highly accurate results that correlate with the lab results based on many studies.
  • Available in different test count configurations.

On the flip side

  • The strips or the blood sampler will fail if the blood drop doesn’t fill it properly. This can mean that every time, the blood drop is not enough, you are wasting a test. This is the case with most of other home blood glucose meters though.
  • The test cartridges or the strips are available only based on the count configuration you opt for, the ten or the twenty pack. There are no separate test strips or cartridges offered to you as you have to buy it along with the monitor for quality purposes. This means, once test strips are finished, you will have to purchase a new unit.
  • The system require refrigeration to use it during its complete expiration length. In the short term, you could stored it in room temperature (e.g. when you travel or while the unit is in transit); however, in all other times it is recommended to be kept in a fridge. To put in perspective, it is safe to say, storing in room temperature after opening the sealed unit halves the length of use (from the day you receive it from Amazon warehouse to the product expiry)
  • Given the requirement of refrigeration it is recommended to purchase this product from manufacturer directly or Amazon (manufacturer’s store), which store the unit in cooler environment. It is not recommended to purchase the unit from a shelf or eBay seller, where quality of storage is not guaranteed.
  • When you purchase the item, within 5 days shipment is recommended due to above mention storage requirement.

Conclusion

It is not just about convenience, but it is also a cost-efficient method when it comes to using A1C Now+ system. You should also remember that this system eliminates the need for venous blood drawn for HbA1C purposes only. In cases of other tests and procedures, you may have to have still your blood drawn in the labs.

The A1CNow+ system comes in quite handy to keep a tab on your blood sugar levels and help you wake up to your body’s call on time.

From Where I Can Buy It?

This is available at Amazon.

If you are from the US, UK, Canada or another country, here is the link.

8 Comments

  1. Louis

    I am a nurse working in the community. I have used this particular device and I’m familiar with it. I must say it works really well in monitoring blood sugar of individuals, you can test results timely and accurately. Every family fighting with diabetes ought to have one.

    However, users should be aware that the blood sugar spikes after a meal and that is normal with all of us with or without diabetes.

    By the way, how do we get extra strips to use after the initial number of strips comes with the box is finished?

    Reply
    • MediChannel

      Hi Louis,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the device.

      The device is calibrated for only the test strips comes with it. After all the tests strips are used, then the meter cannot be reused so need to be disposed of. You would need to buy a new device (meter & strips) to test again.

      A1CNow+ Professional including 20 test strips can be purchased from Amazon following the below links.

      https://themedichannel.com/a1cnow 

      Kindly note, the above is an affiliate link. When you click on the link and buy the product, we may receive a small commission from Amazon which would eventually allow us to renew our web domain registration for another year. You will NOT pay more for buying through this link. 

      We always suggest certain products after in-debt research or once personal experience has shown that they may be helpful to you. Thank you for your support to keep us writing more articles for you.

      Reply
  2. Vapz

    Hi Shani

    This is a nice review of the AC1 Now+ System. Even as more people are diagnosed of diabetes, its important that we find more convenient, quality gadgets that can help keep our health under check and in that way,we can avoid being taken unawares because we couldn’t get to the lab to check our blood sugar level. And AC1 Now+ System looks to be a good device for instant, convenient blood sugar testing.

    Do you think it will be easy for individuals to fill up the blood collector device by themselves before they get on with the testing? 

    Reply
    • Shani

      Dear Vapz,

      Thanks for the comment and we are glad that you found the information useful.

      Anyone who uses a blood glucose monitor can use this device, and no professional training would be required. We also hope the guidance provided in the article and video is sufficient to perform the test satisfactorily.

      Remember, HbA1c test may not replace the need for regular blood glucose tests you do yourself but is an added tool in giving the overall picture of your blood glucose management.

      Best wishes and take care.

      Reply
  3. Henry

    Hi! I have learned that A1C is a very good indicator of the blood sugar levels. And having a system that instantaneously gives A1C results can make a huge difference.

    Thank you very much for your recommendation. I’m thankful A1C Now+ is very simple to use and the results are accurate. I greatly respect it comes with international certifications including clearance from FDA.

    Reply
    • MediChannel

      Hi Henry,

      Thanks for the comment and we are glad that you found the information useful.

      Best wishes.

      Reply
  4. Bill

    My wife and I monitor our health fairly closely and we are wondering if this kit can be use on more than one patient.

    Reply
    • Shani

      Dear Bill,
      Thanks for your question, and it’s a regular question asked by most of our community members.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and International Medical Guidelines recommend the below.

      • Lancing devices should never be used to obtain a blood sample from more than one person.
      • Whenever possible, blood-reading devices (such as A1CNow+ Systems and blood glucose meters) should also be limited to one person.

      The recommendation is to prevent bloodborne infection transmission from one person to another.

      But, for the practicality, we know many families as yours, are recommended to do the following by Australian medical practice.
      • Never share the Lancing devices, which you used to obtain a blood sample between more than one person. Even between family members.
      • If blood glucose meters such as A1CNow+ Systems must be shared, the device should be cleaned and disinfected after every use, per PTS Diagnostics User Manual and Instructions, to prevent carry-over of blood and infectious agents.

      Hope this helps.
      Take care.

      Reply

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