The OneTouch Ultra 2 is one of the most commonly used glucometers, and its test strips are available in almost every store that carries diabetic supplies. However, its design is outdated, as it's one of the few glucometers on the market that still requires coding for its test strips and doesn't feature a high-contrast display or Bluetooth. But it’s still around because it’s effective and fast.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a glucometer is its test strips, since they are proprietary and a long-term cost. As such, we visited local pharmacies and online diabetic supply stores to evaluate both the availability and average prices of the test strips used by the glucometers we reviewed. The Ultra 2’s test strips are available in almost every store, so you can purchase refills at places like Walgreens and CVS when you run out. Each strip costs an average of about 32 cents, which makes them some of the most affordable on the market. However, this is old technology, so that's not surprising.
One of the OneTouch Ultra 2’s biggest drawbacks is its test strips require coding. This is an old feature that most glucometers have abandoned. Before each test, you enter a code printed on the side of the test strip vial. It’s a small step that isn't difficult to figure out, but if you get the wrong code, it will result in a failed reading. So, you have to be more attentive than with other glucometers.
I tested the best 11 glucometers multiple times a day on my own blood. In each round of tests, I use the same sample of blood with each meter and averaged the results. I then created a range for acceptable readings, with the maximum set at 15 percent above the average and the minimum at 15 percent below the average. Any reading that fell outside of this range was considered to be likely inaccurate. After compiling the results, the Ultra 2 received a B – it had some failed readings, but it was better than the average.
The FDA requires all glucometers sold in the U.S. to read within 15 percent of true glucose 95 percent of the time, and each one goes through stringent testing to prove it is capable. My tests were small scale and not based on true glucose, so the results should be considered anecdotal and not as replacement for the FDA’s findings.
This OneTouch meter makes it easy to keep track of your blood glucose readings, as it holds up to 500 test results in its internal memory. A single CR2032 battery powers the unit for six to 12 or more months, depending on how many times you test each day.
Online, you can find video and text tutorials that tell you how to set up and use this glucose meter. The company provides resources for meal planning, fitness and test tracking, and it also offers information on glucometers and the best way to use the gathered information. A handy logbook is available for free download as well.
The Ultra 2 meter is compatible with the OneTouch Diabetes Management Software. It works on computers running Windows and is free to download, but you need to buy a OneTouch USB data cable to attach your glucose meter to your computer.
The OneTouch Ultra 2 uses test strips that require coding, which is outdated technology. In addition, its free data management software is only available for computers running Windows. Since it uses glucose test strips that are compatible with any OneTouch meter, you can also purchase the UltraMini if you want to own and use multiple devices.