Not that I disagree with most of what you said but my mother is diabetic, recently diagnosed, and from what I can tell the strips have some sort of micro-channels.
You touch blood to one side or the other of a test strip, none of the blood is visible other than where it's touching the test strip. It gets to the meter internally through the strip almost instantly I'd say in less than half a second if not less, pretty much instantaneous.
Too bad there isn't an open source meter and cheaper strips.
By the way on Reddit there is r/diabetes if anyone wants to join whether you're diabetic or not.