The Nova Max Link is unique among the glucometers I reviewed because it can send your glucose levels wirelessly to a Medtronic insulin pump. In fact, that's this glucometer’s main selling point. Any diabetic can use this meter, but it’s really designed for those who require an insulin pump to manage their glucose levels. That said, its test strips are affordable, though not available everywhere.
I visited local pharmacies and online diabetic supply stores to evaluate the availability and cost of each glucometer’s test strip. I didn’t find the Nova Max Link’s strips in any local pharmacy, including Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, Target and more. However, you can find them at most online diabetic supply stores. This means you have to make sure you order refills well in advance of running out.
The test strips received an A- for cost, with an average price of about 31 cents each – that makes them the second most affordable test strips on the market. By comparison, the most expensive test strips I reviewed, the Accu-Chek Aviva and OneTouch Verio strips, run over $1 each. Of course, this evaluation doesn't take insurance coverage into consideration or other programs like Nova's Instant Savings Card, which can save you money on its test strips.
This glucometer’s main feature is that it connects wirelessly with Medtronic insulin pumps. When you take a reading, the data transfers to the insulin pump, which can then inject you with the necessary dose of insulin. That said, most diabetics don’t require an insulin pump, so this isn’t a feature that’s in high demand.
The Nova Max Link requires a very small blood sample size: 0.3 microliters. This is the smallest blood sample required by any glucometer on the market. When combined with the small 33-gauge lancets, it’s one of the least painful glucose and ketone meters to use. It’s also compatible with alternate site testing – other sites are less painful to draw blood from than fingertips, though the results they provide aren’t as accurate. It takes five seconds to produce a reading, which is typical for glucometers. The Nova Max Link can accurately read blood glucose levels between 20 and 600 mg/dL.
It doesn’t have a high-contrast display, which is disappointing. Even with excellent eyesight, I struggled to read the display during testing. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to read if your vision is affected by high glucose levels or the long-term progression of your diabetes.
The Nova Max Link is a good glucometer that uses very little blood. In addition, it can wirelessly transfer your readings to an insulin pump so you receive accurate dosages based on your glucose levels. The test strips are affordable and available at most online stores, but you’ll be lucky to find any in local pharmacies.