Healthereum – a New Incentive for Healthy Behaviors
When I was a kid, I used to get a lollipop for going to the doctors’ office. Nowadays, I get a copay. How would you like to return go the time of be rewarded for going to your appointments? And I’m not talking lollipops. The health care startup Healthereum is looking to utilize blockchain technology to do just that.
Healtherium Life Portfolio aka HELIOS is creating a rewards system for patients making appointments, finishing surveys, completing tasks, and so on. As a patient completes a task, they’re rewarded with digital tokens that can be traded back in to the provider. The provider is empowered to determine exactly what these tokens are worth. It reminds me a lot of the arcades where you win tickets that you can trade in for prizes. Except ideally these prizes are worth a lot more then the pencil eraser I’d usually wind up with.
You’d be totally forgiven if you were in a rush to dismiss Healthereum after hearing the words ‘blockchain’, ‘startup’, and ‘digital token’. However, the development team isn’t your run-of-the-mill garage hackers. Founded by experienced physicians and software engineers and advised by industry experts and executive business leaders, HELIOS brings a significant amount of expertise to the fore. This team behind Healtherium, has also developed a number of other extremely impressive products.
HELIOS is one of the latest examples in a trend towards incentivizing patient compliance and behavioral interventions. Research done into the behavioral science aspects of incentivizing care shows that it can often result in improved compliance. HELIOS looks exciting and it’ll be great to watch the development of the product to see how practices implement it.
In regards to of the larger field of incentivizing compliance, this writer has some concerns regarding the ethics of such systems. No one likes feeling manipulated or strong-armed into doing things. Such systems also need to consider issues of accessibility. A 20-something software engineer might know how to fully take advantage of something like a digital reward, but a retiree who doesn’t own a PC might have some trouble fully utilizing it and thus may be left out of savings. We absolutely don’t want to leave our vulnerable populations behind as we modernize care.
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, then managing your blood sugar levels is a vital part of controlling the disease. We’ve scoured the internet for ways to get free glucometers for tracking blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, there’s a real lack of options out there. Still, we were able to identify four brand name meters that, with the right insurance, you can reliably obtain for free! Just keep in mind that some terms and conditions do apply.
Also remember that you’ll need to purchase test strips for use with the glucometers. In fact, this is probably the reason why manufacturers give away free glucometers – so you buy the strips later. With that in mind we’ll also show you the common cost for each meter’s test strips. If you’re looking to purchase test strips or diabetes supplies for your free glucometer, we recommend shopping from trusted sources that focus on diabetic supplies, like Total Diabetes Supply.
Choosing the Right Glucometer
Before you pick a free meter, there are some factors to consider.
Is the meter covered by insurance?
Is the meter easy to use?
Are the test strips easy to use?
How accurate are the test strips?
How expensive are the test strips?
What features does the meter come with?
Does the meter come with technical support?
Would it make sense for me to buy a meter with more features?
Pros: The Aviva models are no frills, simple-to-use option. If you’re looking for a dependable and free glucometer, they’re a great way to go. Cons: Some reviews expressed concern with the battery life and the fail rate of the test strips on the Aviva Model. Both of these concerns are pretty common to all the free glucometer models.
Cons: Reviews indicate that the battery life can be short. Batteries are replaceable and not rechargeable = increased costs. May be hard to handle and read by elderly. Website has unclear requirements on how to qualify for this free glucometer.
The Accu-Check Glucometers are produced by Roche. You can choose a free Accu-Check Aviva or Accu-Check Guide. The Aviva is the older model of the two and retails for $30. The Accu-Check Guide is a newer model and also retails for about $30.00.
Features: The Aviva is a simple and easy model and might be ideal for younger patients or patients who don’t want so many bells and whistles. The Guide is Accu-Check’s most accurate model, easy-to-use and has increased functionality. This functionality includes Bluetooth and it can be paired with their mobile app. It’s easy to see in the dark, it has a spill-resistant test strip case, and other features you can read about here!
Customer Assistance: Both of the Accu-Check Glucometers have an excellent support site with customer assistance. You can also chose to speak with a person directly by calling
Test Strips: The Accu-Check Aviva test strips are a little cheaper at about $23 for a pack of 50. The Accu-Check Guide strips run about $26 for a pack of 50 test strips, depending on where you get them. The Accu-Check website has a good, reasonably-priced option for strips.
The Contour Next One Glucometer is produced by Bayer. It’s a stylish, sleek, and USB-shaped device that’s fairly inexpensive, retailing for about $8.00.
Features: The Contour Next One is has simple but effective functionality. It has a logbook which can hold 800 results, meal markers, a “smartLight” that displays if your sugar is above, below, or in range, bluetooth, and a app.
Test Strips: The Contour Next test strips are some of the least expensive out there. You can get them for about $14 for a pack of 50 on Amazon. Really inexpensive test strips for an already free glucometer.
The OneTouch Verio Flex makers boast that the OneTouch Verio test strips have the lowest copay on most health plans and about 50% of users pay nothing for 50ct test strips. You should verify if you’re eligible, and if you are that could add up to significant savings for this free glucometer.
Features: The OneTouch Verio Flex is able to notify you if it finds a pattern of low or high blood sugar. It also syncs with an app, and has a color-coded display for blood sugar – quickly telling you if readings are high, low, or in the middle. For a free glucometer, this is pretty decent functionality.
The Abbott Freestyle creators have developed a really impressive line of glucose monitoring products. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or are interested in what the newest technology looks like, I’d recommend visiting their website.
Features: The Abbott Freestyle models are simple to use and require very little blood. Recommended for kids or the elderly, or anyone who simply doesn’t want the bells and whistles of a more complicated meter.
Customer Assistance: 1-855-632-8658
Test Strips: The VerioFlex test strips are a bit more expensive then the others on the list. You can get them for about $30 for a pack of 50 on Amazon.
Diabetes is a chronic, but controllable, disease.There are so many websites out there where you can learn more about diabetes from experts and people living with the disease. We recommend you do as much research as you can and talk to your doctor about your options. It’s also important to always consider other costs with free glucometers – like the costs of the batteries and testing strips. Finally, think about shopping at trusted sites like Total Diabetes Supply, where they specialize in diabetes products and care. You may end up paying a little more, but you’ll get a company that understands your needs better.