A brand of glucose meter that has all the key features and many more is the On Call® Glucose Monitoring System. The On Call brand of glucose meters’ are portable, easy to use and gives you an accurate result within few seconds. In this Review of On Call Glucose Meters, we will be comparing On Call Express vs. On Call Vivid vs. On Call Vivid Pal Glucose Monitors, to share with you our user experience on them.
Before jumping into the review, firstly let’s cover some background about diabetes and the importance of blood glucose monitoring.
What is Blood Glucose?
Glucose is a simple sugar derived from the carbohydrate, it supplies the body the energy it needs for physical and mental activities. It is the main sugar present in the blood and is known as ‘blood sugar’ or blood glucose.
Having enough energy from blood glucose is important. Still, one has to be careful and ensure that a healthy level of blood sugar is maintained to prevent an abnormally high level of blood sugar and ketones build up in the blood.
What is Blood Ketone?
Ketones are byproduct which results from the body using fat for energy instead of glucose, and this usually occurs when the body is low on glucose, or if you are diabetic and low on Insulin and your cells cannot absorb glucose. The abnormal or unhealthy blood sugar level is either a blood sugar level that is very high (hyperglycemia) or very low (hypoglycemia).
Importance of Keeping a Record of Blood Glucose and Ketone Levels for Diabetics
Unhealthy blood sugar level and high ketone-build up can result in serious health consequence. To prevent high or low blood sugar levels, and also a high level of ketones in the blood it is advisable to check your blood sugar level daily. Keeping an up to date record of blood glucose result will help you to observe the trend in your blood sugar level and how your daily activities and meal affect your sugar level.
Why You Need a Blood Glucose Meter?
To check the blood sugar level daily, one needs to have access to a blood glucose meter. For that, you need to have your own personal glucose meter, so you don’t have to share your lancing device and device with other people. This is to reduce the risks of spreading on contacting disease or illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
It is also important that the glucometer should be portable for easy carriage so that you can take it along when going out or traveling so that you can carry out the test whenever you want to.
Also, an ideal meter should be simple and easy to use and most importantly, it should give you an accurate result.
Tip: Remember, checking blood glucose and ketone level only wouldn’t suffice. You should check A1c Levels a few times a year too.
Why You May Need to Monitor Your Blood Glucose Daily?
It is very important to monitoring and keep track of your blood glucose because it helps you to understand how different foods, medications, and activities affect your blood sugar level. That is a major strategy of keeping your diabetes under control.
As noted, a household glucose meter, also known as a glucometer, is one of the key tools you can use to test in the comfort of your house and keep track of your blood glucose level.
If you are a diabetic patient on insulin, and if you have difficulty keeping your blood glucose level under control, if you are pregnant, if you have issues with ketone levels or if you have low blood glucose level, then you must monitor your blood glucose level a few times daily. This is to help you to manage unhealthy blood sugar levels (I.e. very high or very low blood sugar level) and high ketone build-up that can result in serious health consequence and medical emergencies.
High blood sugar level can result in long term complications like
- poor blood circulation
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- vision problems
- nerve damage
Low blood sugar levels can also result in
The increase in the number of ketones in your blood can make your blood acidic and result in a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The most serious effects of DKA include:
- swelling in your brain
- diabetic coma
- a loss of consciousness, and
So, monitoring your blood sugar level will help you to know when to see your doctor for timely treatment and advice on the type of food, drugs, exercise and activities to avoid or partake in.
Now let’s look into On Call System for measuring your blood glucose levels for home use.
On Call GK Dual Blood Glucose and Ketone Monitoring System Review
The On Call brand is one of the family brands of Acon Laboratories. This brand manufactures high-quality glucose monitoring systems that are affordable and designed carefully to give an accurate and reliable result.
It is designed for personal use for monitoring any change in glucose level or any increase in the level of ketone in the blood, so it should not be shared within multiple users. It uses advanced hematocrit auto-correction technology (patented by ACON) which reduces hematocrit interference to improve the accuracy of the blood glucose concentration.
It uses the same strip to give ‘hypo’, ‘hyper’ and ketone warnings to alert the users to take necessary precaution to prevent a situation like diabetic ketoacidosis and hospitalization.
The On Call glucose meter uses an electrochemical enzymatic system to detect the level of glucose in fresh capillary whole blood and aside from the fingertips. That means this meter allows the user to use blood samples from the finger, arms and palms as alternate testing sites when the blood glucose level is steady or not changing rapidly.
On Call Glucometer Features
The On Call glucometer is designed to be portable, it can fit into your pocket. It is also lightweight for easy carriage so that one can check his or her blood glucose anywhere you are.
The meter operates on batteries that last for several days or months, so you don’t need to worry about charging it if you are in a place without electricity. They are simple and easy to use and gives you a quick result.
On Call glucometer manual gives you the detail of each feature of the device.
The Content of On Call Blood Glucose Device Starter Pack
What’s in the Box?
On Call blood glucose monitors which may include the following.
- Sugar monitor device
- Free strips and free lancets – for initial uses, which may also be bought later separately.
- User manual written in English and Spanish – it describes how to use and operate the meter, and how to set the meter if you are using it for the first time.
- Warranty card
- Durable carrying case – the case makes it easier for you to take your meter along with you when going out safely.
1. Blood Glucose Meter Device
As you know, the meter reads the test strips and displays the result of the blood glucose level.
2. Test Strips
Strips with a chemical reagent system used with the meter to measure glucose concentration in the blood sample.
3. Lancing Device
The device is used together with sterile lancets to prick the test sites to get the blood sample for the test. The lancing device has different depth settings which allow the user to adjust the depth of the puncture and minimize pain. It can also eject the lancets after usage.
4. Clear Cap
Used with the lancing device and sterile lancet to obtain a blood sample from the palm and forearm.
5. Sterile Lancets
The cap used together with the lancing device; they are inserted into the lancing device for pricking the test site to get a blood sample after which they are discarded.
6. Control Solution
This helps to verify if the blood glucose meter is working properly as it should be using a pre-calibrated control solution to check the test strips and meter.
Most times you need only Control Solution 1 but If you want to carry out additional levels of tests, Control Solution 0 and Control Solution 2 are also available.
Control Solution 0, Control 1 and Control 2 are available in the On Call Vivid Glucose Control Solution package and are sold separately.
7. Carrying Case
The case makes it easier to carry the meter for blood glucose testing anywhere you go.
8. User’s Manual
The manual gives detailed information on how to use the blood glucose meter.
9. Quick Reference Guide
This gives a summary of the blood glucose meter and procedures for the tests. This guide can be kept in your carrying case for reference purpose.
10. Warranty Card
This should be completed and returned or mailed back to the distributor to register the purchase which will to qualify the buyer for a 5-year meter warranty.
You need to complete the warranty card that came with the meter and return or mail it to your local distributor to register your purchase. So, in a case whereby the meter fails to work for any reason aside from abuse, it can be replaced with a new one.
On Call Glucometer Capabilities
On call glucose meters’ are accurate, safe, simple and easy to use. With a tiny drop of blood sample of about 1ul, you will get the result within 10 seconds.
The Hematocrit Range of the meters’ is between 30-55%, Glucose Test Range 1.1 – 33.3 mmol/L (20 – 600 mg/dL) with the Operating Temperature Range of 5 – 45 oC , Operating Humidity Range of 20 – 90, and the Memory Storage stores up to 300 results with date and time. It also gives you the average of 7, 14 or 30 days reading.
How to Use On Call Blood Test Devices
The On Call meters’ are easy to use so you don’t need any professional meters’, all you need is your user manual. To use the meter, all you have to do is;
- Put batteries in the device, then turn on the meter and insert your strip
- Take out lancets and fix it in the lancing device. Set the depth and then puncture your finger to get the blood sample.
- Drop your blood sample on the strip to read your blood glucose level.
Pros of On Call Glucometer
- Offers a 5 years 100% warranty in case if the product is faulty or fails to work for any reason other than abuse, the meter can be replaced with a new one.
- The meters’ starter pack comes with some testing materials.
Cons of On Call Glucometer
- The warranty does not cover the batteries
Now let’s review the three leading models of On Call Glucose Meters.
The On Call glucose meters’ have many products, but we will be reviewing only 3 of their most popular which are On Call Express, On Call Vivid and On Call Vivid Pall.
Tip: Are you interested in smart Bluetooth connecting blood glucose monitors? Then One Drop and Dario Glucose Monitors would be better options.
On Call Express Glucose Meter Review
This glucometer referred to as a Blood Glucose Monitoring System, is carefully designed with advanced biosensor technology which is proven to be accurate clinically with a user-friendly design for easier diabetes management that fast and reliable.
This glucose meter has a large display with bold numbers and a test strip ejector.
Blood glucose monitoring system has 5 test reminders’ daily and Hypo, hyper, and ketone alarms. It also keeps up to 300 test records with date and time.
This meter data management is compatible with the On Call Anywhere Diabetes Manager and the On Call AppLink Bluetooth Adapter.
On Call Express meter does not require any Coding, but a tiny 0.4 micro-liter sample size which makes it less painful and gives you result in 4 seconds.
For easier testing and to reduce strip wastage, it includes audible fill detection offers a second chance drop. Each On Call Express test strip comes with auto code calibration circuitry which means there is no need to code your meter manually and the test strips are FSA Eligible Product.
Features of On Call Express
- Auto Shutoff
The meter shuts off automatically 2 minutes after testing or 5 seconds after removing the strip.
- Audible fill detection and a chance to apply a second drop of blood within 3 second which minimizes the wastage of strips.
- It gives 7-, 14-, 30-, 60-, and 90-days averages.
- It stores up to 300 test memory.
- Alternate Site Testing
The test sample can be collected from a fingertip, palm or forearm.
What’s in the Box?
The glucose meter comes with:
- 1 On Call Express Blood Glucose Meter
- 1 pre-installed CR2032 battery
- 10 On Call Express Test Strips
- On Call Stealth Lancing Device with alternate site testing cap
- 10 On Call Sterile Lancets (30G)
- 2mL of On Call Express Control Solution
- 1 carrying case
- 1 logbook
- 1 user’s manual and quick start guide (written in English and Spanish)
Pros of On Call Express
- Has automatic shutoff function to preserve battery
- Provides fast and accurate test results
- Stores more than just test results
Cons of On Call Express
- The box/kit doesn’t come with enough testing materials.
Tip: Heard about Precision Xtra Blood Glucose & Ketone Monitoring System? We had mixed feelings about its value for money.
On Call Vivid Glucose Meter Review
This is a high technology glucometer that offers 100% accurate value for the whole range of glucose measurements which gives the user 100% confidence with glucose self-management. These glucometer uses glucose oxidase (GOD) enzyme technology to give fast and reliable results.
The GOD Enzymes is safe and glucose specific, so other sugars like maltose, galactose and xylose do not interfere with the result.
It also uses advanced hematocrit auto-correction technology to minimizes hematocrit interference and improve the accuracy of the glucose value. This meter test blood with very high (70%) and very low (20%) hematocrit levels, including anemic blood and neonatal blood.
The On Call Vivid meter do not require any manual coding and is easy to use. It allows for second blood sample redosing within 3 seconds.
It is designed with a backlight and a strip port light, so one can easily carry out the test even when it is dark. It uses only 0.8 µL of blood to give result in 5 seconds. It shows the result values in mg/dl (milligrams of glucose per deciliter).
With a temperature range of 5 – 45 ºC, it means that it works in most environments. For better management, the device test memory shows the date and time for each test result. The devices also make it easy to observe the changes in glucose level by giving the average sugar level for a period of 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days.
It also comes with meal markers to check the blood glucose levels before and meals.
On Call Vivid glucometer is certified with ISO 15197: 2013.
The data management for On Call Vivid Blood Glucose meter is compatible with the On Call AppLink Bluetooth Adapter and the On Call Anywhere Diabetes Manager.
Features of On Call Vivid
- A Large display with bold numbers
- Uses GOD enzyme technology that doesn’t react to Maltose, or Galactose with hematocrit auto-correction technology to enhance the accuracy of the result.
- Tests both neonatal and blood capillary.
- It allows for second blood sample re-dosing within 3 seconds with audible fill detection to reduce strip wastage.
- Strip and Lancet ejectors for easy disposal.
- Auto code calibration circuitry in every strip.
- Code chip allows for automatic calibration.
- The battery life lasts up to 3,000 tests.
- The test memory stores up to 500 test results with the date and time.
- Backlight and strip port light for illumination when carrying out the test in a place with low light.
- Easy to download on PC using a USB cable
- Gives 7-, 14-, 30-, 60-, and 90-day averages which allow the user to quickly access any change in blood glucose levels
- Includes before and after Meal markers to monitor before and after meals results.
- Hypo, hyper, and ketone alarms to alert the user on when to take necessary action.
- Comes with up to 5 Daily test reminders’
- The result is accurate and complies with ISO15197-2015
- Requires only 0.8 μL blood sample to give an accurate result in seconds.
What’s in the Box?
The On Call Vivid pack comes with the following.
- 1 On Call Vivid Glucose Meter
- 10 On Call Vivid Test strips
- 10 Lancets
- 1 Lancing Device
- 2x Batteries (CR 2032 3,0V)
- A Carrying pouch
- A User Manual
Pros of On Call Vivid
- You can test your blood glucose level even in a place with low to no light.
Cons of On Call Vivid
- The testing materials that come with the pack are not enough so the need for repurchase is not far away.
Tip: Dario is one of the Top 10 Best Glucose Meters of the year.
On Call Vivid Pal Glucose Meter Review
This is a small and portable blood glucose meter that uses Hematocrit auto-correction technology ensures that the blood glucose test result is accurate.
The On Call Vivid Pal glucose meter do not require any coding and gives an accurate result within 5 seconds from 0.8 drops of a blood sample.
It has a large display size for easy reading with up to 5 customizable test reminders’. It stores up to 500 test results with dates and time in its memory with the average result for 7, 14, 30, 60 and 90 days to help one track the change in glucose level.
It allows for second blood sample redosing within 3 seconds if the initial sample is insufficient.
This meter has a smart and powerful data management that is compatible with the On Call Anywhere Diabetes Manager and the On Call AppLink Bluetooth Adapter. The meter can be connected to the PC with On Call Diabetes Management Software for better data analysis.
Features of On Call Vivid Pal
- It is a mini meter with a large display screen
- Gives result within 5 seconds, which is fast, and the results are reliable.
- Has the option for alternate sites for taking the blood sample aside from the finger which is the forearm and the palm.
- Uses hematocrit auto-correction technology to enhance the accuracy of the test results.
- Has an option for up to 5 test reminders with hypo, hyper and ketone alarms.
- Has an option for second blood sample redosing within 3 seconds after initial application.
- Design with an easy strip ejector for easy disposal of the strip after usage.
- To monitor before and after-meal glucose level, the On Call Vivid Pall includes before and after-meal markers.
- Its strips are designed with Auto code calibration circuitry, so there is no need to code the meter manually.
- Audible fill detection reduces wasted strips.
Pros of On Call Vivid Pal
- • the size is small and portable, which makes it perfect for the diabetic patients who are active to carry around easily.
Cons of On Call Vivid Pal
- You need to get more testing materials since the ones that came with the starters pack wouldn’t last for long.
Now let’s compare the three best meters’ of On Call to guide you to select the best for your needs.
Tip: Here’s our view on A1c Testing.
The Difference of On Call Express vs. On Call Vivid vs. On Call Vivid Pal
Although these 3 models of On Call meters’ have some similar features, they also differ in some aspects.
These 3 meters’ have different sizes, with On Call Vivid as the biggest size which is 89.6 x 58 x 21.7 mm, followed by the On Call Express with 85 x 40 x 16.4 mm and On Call Vivid Pall as the smallest with 75 x 40 x 13mm as the meter size.
But, when it comes to the display size, the On Call Vivid Pall has the largest display size of 50 x 25mm, followed by the On Call Vivid with 37 x 33.5mm display size, then the On Call Express with 35 x 32mm display size.
Blood sample size requirements for testing
The minimum sample size and test time also differ with 0.4 µL sample size and 4 seconds test time for On Call Express, while On Call Vivid and On Call Vivid Pal have the same minimum sample size of 0.8 µL and the same test time of 5 seconds.
The storage memory for On Call Express is 300 test results with date and time while that of On Call Vivid and On Call Vivid Pall is 500 results with date and time.
The hematocrit range for the On Call Express is 25 – 65% and 20 – 70% for On Call Vivid and On Call Vivid Pall.
These 3 glucose meters’ use glucose oxidase, they all have the measurement range of 20 – 600 mg/dL, with battery life for 1000 tests, automatically shuts off 2 minutes after the test or 5 seconds after the removal of the strip.
They all have the same operating temperature of 41-113˚F (5-45 ˚C), with operating relative humidity of 10-90% (non-condensing) and the palm and forearm as the alternate testing sites.
Here’s everything in a summary table.
|Features||On Call Express||On Call Vivid||On Call Vivid Pall|
|Meter Size||85 x 40 x 16.4 mm||89.6 x 58 x 21.7 mm||75 x 40 x 13mm|
|Display Size||35 mm x 32 mm||37 mm x 33.5 mm||50 x 25 mm|
|Measurement Range||20-600 mg/dL||20-600 mg/dL||√|
|Minimum Sample Size||0.4 µL.||0.8 µL.||0.8 µL|
|Test Time||4 seconds||5 seconds||5 seconds|
|Battery Life||1,000 tests||1000 tests||√|
|Memory||Up to 300 records with date and time||Up to 500 records with date and time||Up to 500 records with date and time|
|Operating Temperature||41-113˚F (5-45 ˚C)||√||√|
|Operating Relative Humidity||10-90% (non-condensing)||√||√|
|Hematocrit Range||25 – 60%||20 – 70%||20 – 70%|
|Automatic Shutoff||2 minutes after last action or 5 sec after strip removal||√||√|
|Alternate Site Testing||Fingertip, forearm, or palm||√||√|
Other On Call Meters
Other On Call Meters are On Call Extra Blood Glucose Meter, On Call Extra Voice Blood Glucose Meter, On Call Sure Blood Glucose Meter, On Call Advanced Blood Glucose Meter, On Call Plus Blood Glucose Meter, On Call Platinum Blood Glucose Meter and On Call Simple Blood Glucose Meter.
Self-monitoring of blood glucose level is an essential part of managing diabetes. That helps you to live a longer and healthier life.
ACON Laboratories have made this possible by producing the On Call meters’, which are high-quality glucose monitoring systems at an affordable price so that you can test your blood glucose and ketone level often and when necessary. Together, you can better manage your diabetes.
With only a few simple steps, a little drop of a blood sample which means you will experience little or no pain when pricking your finger to get the blood sample. And, within a few seconds, the On Call glucose meters’ will give you accurate blood glucose level results.
Tip: Here are the best blood glucose meters’ of the year.
Are the test strips interchangeable?