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Human Factors Study

Human Factors Study

Handling of Blood Glucose Monitoring Test Strips with Use-by Period after First Opening           

Abstract – This paper focuses on the handling of test strips for blood glucose monitoring systems (BGM systems) that require the user to individually calculate the use-by period when they open a test strip container for the first time. A human factors study of 32 subjects with diabetes was conducted by the Spiegel Institut Mannheim to evaluate this process and to identify possible weak points. Results showed that none of the subjects calculated the use-by period when they opened the test strip container for the first time either during the test situation or at home. Few subjects (16%) were aware of the need to calculate the use-by period after first opening.

1. Study Background

In general, test strips for blood glucose monitoring systems (BGM systems) can be used for a pre-specified period of time after manufacture. The end of this period, the “use-by date”, is printed on the packaging and on the test strip container. However, some BGM systems use test strips which also have a “use-by period after opening”, i.e. the test strips should be used only within a pre-specified period of time after opening the test strip container for the first time. In these cases the use-by date printed on the test strip container and packaging is only valid as long as the test strip container has not been opened. The actual use-by period after opening usually differs from the use-by date printed on the test strip container and may shorten the time period (e.g. 3 months) during which the test strips have to be used. The use-by period after opening must be calculated by the user after opening the test strip container for the first time and is to be noted on the label of the test strip container. Figure 1 shows examples of the use-by date and use-by period on test strip containers... weiterlesen

Ilona Näger, Ulrike Mikles, Spiegel Institut Mannheim