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"Must Have" features of glucose meters

Discussion in 'Glucose Meters' started by Jeff, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

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    As I reviewed the latest new meter (ACCU-CHEK Aviva), I realized that all major meter companies now make excellent meters that are perfect for kids with diabetes. That hasn't always been the case, but it certainly is today.

    So I was thinking about how people decide to change to a new meter and thought I'd get your feedback.

    Are there any "must have" features that you look for in a meter?

    Or do you choose based on cost (e.g., what your insurance covers)?
     
  2. val721

    val721 New Member

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    Hello, my son Sam was diagnosed Type 1 nearly a month ago. We have received several different meters -(2) from the hospital, (1) the pedi endo's office and (1) from Accu-Chek directly, the new Aviva. All were provided free of charge.

    Currently we have:
    AccuChek Compact
    AccuChek Aviva
    Ascencia
    Freestyle Flash

    We're trying to determine which one is best for us moving forward. I really like the Flash cause it has a light at the bottom so it makes nightime readings easy. The Ascencia is also easy to use, but no light.

    The AccuChek Compact seemed to waste a lot of strips. It also gives error msg's more frequently. Have only used the Aviva a couple times. Better than the Compact, not sure if I like it better than the Flash.

    Insurance copay is lowest for AccuChek.

    Any thoughts from others with more experience?
    Any and all advice is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Val
     
  3. Stacey Nagel

    Stacey Nagel Approved members

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    Re:Must Have" features of glucose meters

    My son Jesse , 13, is currently using the freestyle flash. We changed when this came out because of its:
    1- small size
    2- The strip that lights up... I think this is the best feature for night testing..

    The only negative about this meter is the lancing device. The cover is not secure, and Jesse or I end up stabbing ourselves when the end cover comes off...which is quite often..
    Stacey:cwds:
     
  4. noelphobic

    noelphobic Approved members

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    meters

    We're in the UK and we have 5 meters, none of which we have paid for! We were given the Ascensia Contour at the hospital on diagnosis, a Freestyle Mini last year when we went for the flu jab, an Accuchek and a Medisense one that were given us by the respective companies and we have just phoned for the new Accuchek Aviva as the company were giving them away. My son always uses the first one he was given, just through force of habit I guess! Always useful to have a spare or four though!
     
  5. julia

    julia Approved members

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    My biggest complaint about Olivia's BD Logic that talks to her MM pump is that it doesn't hold as many bg checks as her Ultra or UltraSmart. Other than that, I like it.

    Must have features:
    Small amt. blood needed
    5 second countdown
    Easy to use
    Small in size

    Would be nice features:
    Light for night testing
    500+ bg memory
     
  6. julia

    julia Approved members

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    How do you get prescriptions for so many different meters? My insurance will only cover one type of strips - if I want another type, I have to get a new scrip for them.
     
  7. val721

    val721 New Member

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    Julia, ask your insurance company about your options. Surely they support several brands. Seems like each brand (AccuChek, Ascencia, One Touch) have different models.

    Most supplies can be purchased over the counter, but if you want insurance to cover it you'll need a scrip for the exact model and brand. Your endo could call one into the pharmacy for you.
     
  8. julia

    julia Approved members

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    I can get the different scrips for strips and the endo gives out the meters for free, but insurance will only cover 300 strips a month, so I'd have to switch types and prescriptions every month. I could do it, I suppose, it just seems like it's asking for insurance to mess things up, as they so often do.
     
  9. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Hi Stacey,

    Have you talked to Abbott about the cover coming off? My son doesn't seem to have this problem, however, he only changes the lancet a couple of times per year:eek:.

    Jeff:

    We like the same features that Stacey pointed out. I would like a much smaller less bulky case though, because he carries everything in his pants pockets.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  10. Red (aus)

    Red (aus) Approved members

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    In Australia we don't have quite such a large range of meters available as in the US, although we're doing ok. Taylor has the optium which is your Precision Xtra, we have 2 of those at home, and an accuchek advantage at school. It is time to purchase another meter to replace the school one, unfortunately I live in a fairly remote area of Australia so no matter which features we would prefer, the one we have to worry about is strip availability.

    At the moment we can only purchase one box of strips at a time. When Taylor was first dxd I purchased a couple of accuchek advantages but had many issues with strip availability and at one stage there were no strips available in Aus at all, hence my change over to the optium, and the situation hasn't improved a whole lot. Mostly we've stuck with the optium because of the lifetime guarantee. If they ever sort out the strip issues then I might be persuaded to actually look at the other features available, but I figure what's the use of having a meter with all the bells and whistles if you can't use it half the time.

    In the past 5 years since dx I have had to 'borrow' a different meter from the pharmacy and purchase strips to match it several times due to the advantage or optium strips being out of stock for long periods.
     
  11. Homew6kids

    Homew6kids Approved members

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    I love that the end of the Flash lights up, but it would be nice if that little light came on when you hit the back light button. Sometimes it's hard to get the strip in, find a place to poke, and then get the meter to the poked spot in the dark. Honestly, if we could just get the kid to glow in the dark...:p
     
  12. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

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    We use the Accucheck Compact. I like that the strips are intergrated. But if there another meter with intergrated strips I would also try that too.

    The things I've noticed about the compact.

    It takes a small amount of blood, but there isn't a capillary action so you actually have to squeeze out more just to make sure the strip is able to measure. We've had to replace our meter a few times because it starts dropping numbers. I'll go back through after a school day and it will just be missing results , and I know that those tests have been done. Whether that's the meter or my daughter dropping it one too many times, I don't know!

    Also it doesn't have glucose solution to check that it is calibrated. We test it against the lab results when she has her endo appts which is every 3 months. Last time her meter showed she was 16.1 and lab showed she was 12. Huge difference! Luckily we don't pay for the meters or it would be a pretty penny for all the ones we've gone through. I think after reading my post that I might ask her nurse at our next appt if we could try something new!
     
  13. Mindstorm

    Mindstorm New Member

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    I've tried four meters, three using the same strips.

    AccuChek Compact
    Freestyle
    Freestyle Flash
    Freestyle Cozmonitor attachment for Deltec Cozmo

    The first one I had was the accuchek compact. It has some advantages. The drum makes it easy to deal with the strips, it's easy to teach someone how to use, and it's got a nice little scratch cover for the screen. However it also had its disadvantages. The lancet needed to be changed very often (every few uses) or else it wouldn't put a big enough hole in your finger for you to get out enough blood to test (it needed quite a lot (by comparison) to register it). The lancet also blew a rather unpleasant hole in your finger. I winced every time I used it and I had to keep it on a higher setting or else it wouldn't make a big enough hole to test. This led to some pretty tough skin on my fingers. The 17 strip drum was also pretty nice, but wasn't really enough. It was as big as a 50 strip drum used in my freestyle meters, but held much less and (fairly) often had an error or problem of some sort.

    The next one was the freestyle. This guy had a bunch of strips, an easy to read screen, had a much MUCH less painful lancet, and was much thinner (easier to put in a pocket, though still a bit large). It took hardly any blood to test and provided results very quickly. It caused me much less stress than the accuchek (no worrying about all those strip errors, changing drums, keeping enough drums with you, keeping lancets with you because the other ones aren't poking big enough holes). I think that the copay was higher (currently $25 for 200 strips), but fewer strips went bad with this than with the other. Oh yeah, another big benefit to this one is the noise! Turn off the beeping, it's pretty much silent! The accuchek would be trouble because it made so much noise with that little motor in it. Plus the repetitive sound kind of got to me after a while (I was humming the motor noises as they happened after using it for about a month). I think the freestyle was a big step up.

    The next that i used was the freestyle flash. I (also) got this one for free. Some major benefits are its size. It's much smaller than the freestyle, and so is its carrying case. I was able to comfortably fit this in my pocket (even with the insulin pump). The backlighting was awesome for testing at night, along with the little light that lit up the strip and the testing area. It also proved handy as a nightlight when I needed to figure out where I put my glasses when I woke up at night with a low blood sugar. It also looked cool. I really like how it was still able to test with the same amount of blood and how it had a lancet similar to the freestyle's.

    The one I use now is the CozMonitor extension to my insulin pump, the deltec cozmo. This is just cool. It hasn't got the light like the flash, but it's very very small, and has its own small pouch for the lancet, glucose control solution, and testing strips. The cozmo has its own screen backlighting, so I can still use it reasonably effectively at night. It's also cool because it communicates directly with the insulin pump, being directly integrated into the pump's software. You just bring the pump to the main screen, put in a strip, and you're good to test. You can then go to a meal bolus, a correction bolus, or... something else (I forgot :p ). It's neat, you don't have to program the pump for blood glucose any more (which got a bit irritating when you were off by quite a bit on your numbers and just wanted to get the insulin in you so you could get your high back to normal). It was also free, and it's free to anyone who gets the pump. Completely awesome, I'm totally satisfied with this one.

    So as far as I'd rank them, it'd be accuchek compact, followed by freestyle, then a tie between freestyle flash and cozmonitor. As far as features that are must-haves for me? Low-pain, low-blood requirement amounts, small size, reasonable price. Good management software is a plus, too. It's nice to have the software make your graphs for you.

    MMK, that's about as complete a review as I can make.

    Hope somebody gets a kick out of it. :p
     
  14. munchkingirl

    munchkingirl Approved members

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    For me, it's mainly what my insurance company covers. They only cover the One Touch meters. But, within those - I have made my switches between. I've had:

    *One Touch Ultra
    *Induo
    *One Touch Ultra Smart

    They've all been very useful. I wouldn't go back to the one touch ultra alone, though, except for the size of it compared to the other two. The Induo was very nice at the time, because the ultra smart wasn't out yet, and also because I'd just made the switch to the insulin pen - that comes inside of it. Which was very cool because it cut down SO much of the stuff I had to carry with me. The disadvantage of it then was that I was also on NPH which meant I could no longer mix my insulins.
    I then moved to Lantus, and there was no mixing anyways. So, I went completely back to needles, and the one touch ultra, because it is smaller and there was, again, less to carry around with me.
    When the ultra smart came out on the market - I got it right away. It has been the best for me thus far. It has a log book built right into it, and it averages weekly, biweekly, monthly, 60-90 blood sugars for you. You're able to make your own notes such as exercise and sicknesses and so on. Input your insulin intake. And record health visits, weight, bp, a1c's... and so on. I have since then moved back to an insulin pen - and just leave my lantus at home where I take it at night when I'm sure to be there to get it.

    So, I guess my choice has always been about how much I have to carry with me. How I can compartmentalize my life, so to speak. The Ultra Smart also has a backlight which is VERY nice as the other ones didn't so it makes testing in the dark SO much easier whether it's in the middle of the night or the middle of a concert! (which I had to do the other night... that was interesting)

    Beth
     
  15. maverickmom (Kerri)

    maverickmom (Kerri) Approved members

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    Julia, you just described the FreeStyle Flash! :) All of the reasons you gave are reasons we love that meter. Plus, in addition, it does AST. The only thing I can see that they may want to include on future models is a key chain ring at the top (I can just picture Shannon carrying hers that way). LOL
     
    Ellen likes this.
  16. maverickmom (Kerri)

    maverickmom (Kerri) Approved members

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    Catherine...or maybe glow in the dark blood? LOL
     
  17. Melanie

    Melanie Approved members

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    My 3 year old daughter uses the one touch ultra smart. We like it because we can download all her test results into our computer. Also the whole screen lights up for bg testing at night. I can record the amount and when she is given her insulin. We can also record the amount of carbs for each meal and snack that she has. We can look at graphs of bg by week or month to get an average. We love it!:cwds:
     
  18. karpoozi123

    karpoozi123 Approved members

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    I Use The Freestyle Flash

    For about 4 years I used the one touch ultra and loved it. I just switched to the flash though and I like it even more. It's small size makes it easy to carry it wherever I go and I also loved the light. I have tried about 8 different meters and this one is for sure the best!
     
  19. kitty

    kitty Approved members

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    I really like the MediSense Sof-Tact meter, becuase of all its features. I like that it lances your skin without having to use a seperate lancing device, and that it puts the sample onto the strip without you having to do it yourself. I also like that it has a backlight for testing in the dark (I sometimes get hyo in the middle of the night, and need to test then).
    The only thing I'd change about this meter is that it would have a larger screen, so you can see the numbers better. I'd also make the meter less bulky (the Sof-Tact meter is big!).

    The only other 3 meters I've used since being diagnosed with hypoglycemia are:
    One Touch Profile
    Accu-Chek Complete
    One Touch FastTake.

    I use the Accu-Chek Complete as a backup meter, but am strongly thinking of switching to the One Touch UltraSmart meter, becuase it takes less blood.

    Jessie:cwds:
     
  20. jlwilts

    jlwilts Approved members

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    new meter

    I have just been given a 'free' upgrade From an Accu chek compact to an Accu chek compact Plus.

    Having everyting together is very helpful and less hassle.

    Not so sure about the 300 test memory though, starting at 100 and having to work through to the most recent tests is bad enough never mind 300
     

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