I’ve been pretty dedicated to my Keto Mojo for the past 14 months. I originally chose it because it tests both glucose and ketones using one device. Even though the glucose strips were a little more expensive than some glucose-only devices ($.50 vs $.30), the ketone strips were significantly less expensive ($1.00 vs up to $2.00 for other brands). This meant that, after the costs of buying the meter, each GKI test cost me $1.50. No cheap but nothing about cancer was cheap.
I wasn’t expected to survive a year so I wasn’t sure how many strips I’d need, anyway.
I didn’t even mind the daily (or more) needle prick. After the indignities of cancer, a little needle prick is nothing. On days I was tracing my full GKI curve, I would prick myself up to eight times a day, no problem.
Strips were a hassle but I was used to juggling crazy logistics for medical supplies. I couldn’t get strips where I lived in Hong Kong so would order them to be delivered to a friend’s house in the US and pick them up when I traveled there for doctor’s appointments.
I carried my testing device, lancet charger, spare lancets, and two kinds of strips with me everywhere.
Well, a year and a half later I realize that this keto life is a permanent lifestyle – hopefully for a very long time.
Which means my current rate of 500 GKI tests a year ($750 in keto mojo strips a year) is not sustainable.
While Brad and I were at the Metabolic Health Summit this year, I had a chance to try the new breath monitor on the market. After hearing it endorsed by both Dom D’Agostino and Miriam Kalamian, two people with more metabolic knowledge than just about anyone I know, I had to try it myself. I showed up at the booth the next morning with my keto mojo so I could do a side-by-side comparison test.
My keto mojo showed my ketone levels were 1.6 mmol/L. I know, not my best numbers but I was having fun on my LA vacation. My Biosense results were 14 – the equivalent of 1.4 mmol/L and at first I was a little insulted. Like, “no way dude, your device ain’t right.” Then he dropped the clinical research that actually, my keto mojo wasn’t right.
I knew that blood glucose monitors, which test capillary blood, only had to be accurate within 20% of your actual venous blood glucose. In fact, I’d put my keto mojo blood meter to the test during one of my monthly blood draws and confirmed that, for glucose at least, it was over 10% off. (I ended up buying a second glucose meter just to double check future results.)
It turns out that blood ketone meters have the same 20% allowance. And my meter had been overestimating.
While traditionally breath meters have been notoriously inaccurate, the Biosense developed new technology to become the first truly accurate breath meter on the market — and commissioned the clinical studies to validate the claim.
How it works
The Biosense samples the air in the very bottom of your breath (the reason it takes me a few seconds to blow into it in the video). This air and their collection technology mean the sample is most reflective of your current venous blood content. The meter then displays the results using a number that is comparable to the mmol/L number given by blood meters and traditionally used to calculate GKI.
But the cost
After trying the meter and reading how accurate it was, I wanted one. I had dreams of being able to test every hour without having to juggle all the equipment and stabbing.
But it was so hard to justify $300 when I have a perfectly fine keto mojo and and 200 strips from my last trip to the states.
Until I actually ran the numbers:
The price of the Biosense is the cost of 300 ketone test strips on my keto mojo. If I think I’m going to test more than 300 times ever, the Biosense is cheaper. The truth is, if I had unlimited tests with no stabbing required, I would test 300 times a month.
Also, in my personal situation, the cost of my glucose tests would be reduced by $0.20 a strip. Or better, I could combine it with my FreestyleLibre continuous glucose monitor for near real-time, continuous GKI. Holy smokes, what a dream for this data nerd!
The final decision
Obviously, I had to make the change. The benefits of the Biosense over a blood meter are too many:
- Less cost: break even at 300 tests, $1.00 per test savings thereafter
- Better accuracy: clinically proven precision vs “within 20%”
- No finger pricking
- Faster: the time to blow and wait for results is faster than pulling out my gear, pricking, taking a blood drop, and waiting for results
- More convenient: Traveling with all my gear and storing extra strips isn’t a huge deal but it sure is nice to slip the Biosense in my purse and be done with it.
I was so convinced of my decision that I reached out to the Biosense team to ask them to become an Ambassador for their product. After getting to know the team I learned that the company was founded in response to the owner’s wife’s own cancer journey. I’m so excited that we share the same mission: saving lives with metabolic therapies.
I cannot wait to get my hands on the device!
I’ll report back soon on whether my very high expectations are met.
As an ambassador, I’ll make a small commission on each sale and can also offer my readers $20 off using this link. You won’t see the discount until you’re checking out but it’s there.