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Frequently Asked Questions

What is A1c?

A1c or HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin A.  Haemoglobin is a protein component of the red blood cell and carries oxygen around the body.  When haemoglobin joins with glucose it becomes glycated.

Why is an A1c test useful?

HbA1c or A1c tests can measure the level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in your blood.  This is a good indicator for blood glucose levels over a period of 8 – 12 weeks.

Knowing your HbA1c level is particularly useful in diabetes where good glucose control is essential.  A reduction in HbA1c has shown to reduce the risk of certain diabetes-related complications.

This measurement can also be beneficial in general health checks directing you to seek appropriate medical advice if needed or check the progress of your positive lifestyle/diet changes.

How does the A1cNow® SELF CHECK system work?

The A1cNow® SELF CHECK uses a system of chemical reactions to measure the A1c levels in your blood.

Can I purchase more cartridges?

The 4 test pack provides a whole year’s worth of testing (once a quarter) equipment to the user. You cannot purchase extra strips for that meter as it is programmed for testing just four times. The battery life on the meter would not allow any more tests to be carried out on the meter.

Does it hurt?

No, the testing process is painless however a blood sample is needed, which is collected using a sample collector from a finger prick.  The finger prick is done using a lancet provided in the kit.  This has been described as a sharp scratch.

Do I need a lot of equipment?

Not at all.  All you need to perform the test(s) are provided in the kit.  No additional equipment is needed.

What are the side-effects?

There are no side-effects as the test is performed outside your body.  However, a finger prick is required to obtain the blood sample, which may be slightly uncomfortable for some people.

How accurate is the A1cNow® SELF CHECK?

The A1c Now® SELF CHECK has been certified by the National Glycohaemoglobin Standardisation Program (NGSP) which develops standards for A1c tests.  The NGSP ensures that A1c results are comparable to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT).

It is unlikely that your A1c Now® result will match the A1c result obtained from your medical professional or laboratory.  In these clinical environments, different technologies from the A1c Now® SELF CHECK are used to determine your A1c.  Every test, be it laboratory to home testing has a degree of variation.  The A1c Now® result can differ from -11 to +9 mmol/mol from your true A1c result.  This means that if you have a true A1c of 53 mmol/mol, the A1c Now® SELF CHECK result may be between 42 to 62 mmol/mol

It is very important that you discuss the use of this test and test results with your medical/healthcare professional, especially if the result widely differ from the results obtained in clinical settings such as laboratories.  Do not make any changes to your treatment, lifestyle or diet based on the A1c Now® SELF CHECK without consulting your doctor.  These tests do not replace regular blood glucose monitoring or the doctor’s advice/treatment plan.

If it is not as accurate as laboratory tests, then why should I use it?

The A1c Now® SELF CHECK has been certified by NGSP and accuracy tests to ensure the device meets the strict requirements.  It can be performed at any time, in any place and does not require fasting or special diets.  Results are available in 5 minutes so you know your A1c levels there and then.

The A1c Now® SELF CHECK is not designed to screen or diagnose diabetes – only a trained medical professional can do this.  It is simply designed to help you monitor your glucose levels over an extended period in the comfort of your home helping to direct you to seek medical advice when needed, or see the effects of your lifestyle choices.

Do not make any changes to your treatment, lifestyle or diet based on the A1c Now® SELF CHECK without consulting your doctor.  These tests do not replace regular blood glucose monitoring or doctor’s advice/treatment plan. 

What does the result mean?

The result depends on what your target and objectives are.  Results should always be discussed with your medical/healthcare professional.

The device measures the ratio of A1c haemoglobin to haemoglobin and presents this in mmol/mol.  These units are set by the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) so that the same system of reporting results is used worldwide.

If you are used to seeing results as a percentage (%, DCCT units), there is a table on the inside of the package listing the IFCC values and the corresponding DCCT values.

Can the test give me a false reading?

Yes, it can give a false reading for some people.  People that have conditions that affect their blood or haemoglobin, for example, anaemia, pregnancy, heavy bleeding, kidney or liver disease.  People with bleeding disorders or on anti-coagulant therapy should consult their medical/healthcare professional before using this test.

Some people have a certain haemoglobin variant which can also affect the A1c test.  If you are in doubt, then discuss this with your medical professional.

I read some negative reviews – I am not sure if this is a good product?

The A1c Now® SELF CHECK is a PTS Diagnostic product.  PTS Diagnostics are known for their innovative and accurate technology.

How often should I test my HbA1c levels?

This depends on your objective(s) and if in consultation with your medical/healthcare professional, then their recommendations.  This test is not a substitute for blood glucose monitoring tests.  It should not be used to screen or diagnose diabetes.

The lifespan of a red blood cell is approximately 12 weeks.  This system can be used as part of your routine health checks or to see if your lifestyle changes have worked.

BHR Pharmaceuticals Ltd strongly recommend that you discuss the use of this test, test results and what they mean for you with your GP and follow the advice that they give you.

Who is the test not suitable for?
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and young adults

It is advised that if the following condition(s) affect you then you should consult your medical/healthcare professional before you use this test:

  • different haemoglobin variants
  • bleeding disorder(s)
  • conditions that affect the blood or haemoglobin e.g. anaemia
  • heavy bleeding
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
Where can I get more information?

Your medical/healthcare professional will be able to give you advice or direct you to the most appropriate resources.

Other useful resources include: