Objective: To examine the overall usability of current, commercially available self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) meters in order to highlight how the design affects the performance of elderly adults.
Methods: Sixteen younger participants (18-27) and twenty nine elderly participants (65-85) completed two SMBG meter tasks: 1) set date/time and 2) control solution test, using two meters: 1) the Accu-Chek Compact Plus and 2) the One Touch Ultra 2.
Results: Elderly adults struggled to complete the SMBG meter tasks, especially when compared to their younger counterparts. Overall, younger participants were more successful in performing the SMBG meter tasks, were faster and committed fewer errors. All participants completed the set date/time task faster using the One Touch Ultra 2 meter. Elderly participants performed the control solution task faster using the Accu-Chek Compact Plus. Future SMBG meters should be designed with more insight into the needs and specific abilities of the elderly population.