No-meter BG visual test strips: emergency supplies

@PegE just found an amazing resource: visual test strips that require no meters (like the old-fashioned ones! I just went through a 10-day kayak camping expedition, and I would have LOVED to have some of those for redundancy, as we almost ran out of electronics. So I just ordered 4 boxes :slight_smile:

These strips are manufactured by an Australian company called National Diagnostic Products, under the Betachek brand name.


The strips come in two flavors:

  • Betachek Visual, with a bright color palette (they use 2 sets of colors to make identification easier)

  • Glucoflex-R: same technique, but for visually color-impaired people, so the color scale is different:

Quality of the reading

The evaluation study shows that the visual reading is solid:

The evaluation study for Glucoflex-R is also good. The instructions for use appear easy to follow. At the same time, we should not expect as clean a reading as that in a regular meter, as discussed by this Nigerian study that compares it to the Accuchek Active strips + meter:


They seem to last about 18 months per the manufacturer’s preemption date, a calculation based on what I read from this user, Michael David, in England:
He is posting early April 2014, bought his strips around Jan-Feb, and has a preemption date of August 2015.

Subjective thoughts

The same user mentions that they somewhat lose accuracy above 8mmol/l, which is 150mg/dl – I think it is primarily because the color gradations start spacing out further by then.

The clearest impact to active dosing is that the color gradations go from 110 to 150 to 200, so your readings can be, I am guessing: 110, 130, 150, 175 and 200. But if you have nothing else I think that is pretty good, in particular since your meter reading, in the end, is +/- 20%.

Other quotes: Treato comments for Betachek and for Glucoflex-R


Cost for 100 strips is $22 plus shipping ($8) but shipping remains the same when you increase the order. As a note, user Michael David (quoted above) mentions in some of his posts that you can cut the strips in length several times with fine scissors to make it more economical. He mentions 3, 4 and up to 5 times, although I have a hard time imagining an accurate read when you cut it in more than 2 pieces. Still, even cutting each strip in two makes the price hard to beat if you buy them 400 strips at a time (400 for $96, i.e. 12c per read if cut in two).

My conclusion

I am buying a couple of the Betachek Visuals, and one box of the Glucoflex-R, to compare how easily they can be read, for evaluation by the forum. I am guessing the Visuals will be easier for us. Let me know if you want some to test – I’ll have extras!

I will report back on results when they arrive. @PegE bought some before me, so the two of us can put up our evaluation!

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The Betachek C50 on their site is also very interesting. An all in one meter, strip, lancet, used strip storage solution.

This is somewhat similar to exactly what @Eric and I were talking about a couple of months ago. They must be spying on us :smirk:


I looked at it too: very compact, although not on sale yet. So we don’t know how much the strips and the lancets cost. The meter with the first 50 strips will cost $60.

Maybe we should ask them if they will send us models for evaluation.

you should get the Glucoflex-R, in case you ever need to do a reading!

Can you accurately see green and blue?

I just sent a request :grin:


Same with me…I can’t even really tell the difference with the Ketone strips most of the time.

I just received my 400 strips of Betachek Visuals and Glucoflex from Australia! We plan on testing them soon. I plan to cut a bunch of them in half or even more, as the British poster suggested, and see how narrow we can go.

My wife and my son are spending a couple of weeks in Costa Rica in August and will be taking some as backups.

If anyone wants some for testing, let me know, I have plenty to share.

hi i would like to have some to test with plz if u have aney left


Just sent you a PM!

I hope you’ll let us know on the forum what you think of them :slight_smile:

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I used visual strips for many years. They were called chemstripBg. I had a heck of a Time evaluating the colors. They were also used in a meter but silly me didn’t get the meter until after I saw a relative use theirs and saw how much better it was than me trying to evaluate the colors. I actually didn’t buy the meter that went with those strips. I bought a one-touch 2

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Can you still find them? I am curious.

I also used the chemstrips, both visual and with meter, in 1980s. Required a large drop of blood and 1 minute wait, then wipe blood, and another 1 minute wait. I also cut them when doing visual checks before meter was available.

Good idea to use as backup !!

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I dunno. I haven’t looked for them as they weren’t anything I miss. :slight_smile:

LOL! I cut them into 3rds and even 1/4ths!! 1/4ths was crazy–too narrow of a strip to see well and as I said, I had issues judging the color accurately. The first time I used a meter, I was astounded at how much I had much higher the meter said my bg was then how I interpreted the visual strips. That was scary–knowing how much higher I really had been for years (irrespective of my lousy A1c’s)

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