Sunday, October 7, 2007

Meter Comparison

While I was at the JDRF Walk last Saturday I picked up two meters from booths. I have been thinking about getting a new meter, not to mention the fact that I did not have a spare meter on hand. The meters that I got were the Accu-Chek Aviva and the Bayer Ascensia Contour. I am currently using the Paradim Link from BD that is linked with my MiniMed Pump.

This is what I found about each of the meters:

I really liked the Accu-Chek Aviva's case, it's thin design, and the lancet device. Actually, I LOVED the lancet device! The multiclix lancet device was really comfortable and the lancets aren't single. It is a drum with 6 lancets that you can change each time (or less) and you only change the lancet drum after using all the lancets. The Accu-Chek also is a preferred strip on my insurance. Which means less out of pocket for me.

The Bayer Contour was a nice machine. As I will talk about later, it had the results that were closer to my current meter. I did not like the lancet device. It was (in my mind) a throw-back to the older lancet devices in it's design. It wasn't painful, but it was just kind of odd in shape and style. The Bayer strips are not on my insurance's preferred list, therefore it would be more out of pocket cost than some other strips.

The Paradigm Link is my current meter. I have been using it for a little over a year. I really like the fact that it links to my pump and all the results (from both my pump & my meter) can be downloaded to my account on the MiniMed website and I can see averages, trends, etc. I don't like that I waste a LOT of strips when testing with this meter. If the amount of blood is not exactly right you have to retest. I also don't like that the strips are not on my insurance's preferred list. I end up paying more out-of-pocket costs for my strips.

This were the major likes and dislikes of these 3 meters. Then came the biggest thing of all: the blood sugar results. I checked my blood sugar on all three meters at the same time. The results were disturbingly different.

BD: 103
Accu-Chek: 151
Contour: 119

On the second testing at a different time:

BD: 135
Accu-Chek: 160
Contour: 124

The strikingly funny thing was the the Accu-Chek was higher than the other two meters both times. And the Accu-Chek was also the only meter of the 3 that was on the preferred list for strips on my insurance. So are the other 2 meters the better meters? And therefore I have to pay extra for my strips? Is it just because the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the strips for the meters that are more accurate?
Has anyone else had this experience? I swear the more I learn about diabetes the less I feel like I know. And this is after 22 years of living with this disease.


Unknown said...

hah--your last line got to me. I feel the same way a lot of the time.

I find my meters are never the same. I don't understand the differnces. How do we really know waht the real result is? Oh man...I'll be interested to see if other have insights.

Cool you got two meters!

Anonymous said...

We come to expect differences from meter to meter, but what really gets me is when I test at, say, 131 right before going in to the lab, and then the lab comes back with 247. Yikes.

It would be easy to say that my meter might be going south (or way out of calibration,) but the next time I'm at the lab, the results are within 10mg/dl of each other.

Another unsolved diabetes mystery, I guess.

Thanks for the comparisons, Cara.

Allison said...

My endocrinologist has always told me to never compare meter to meter and instead compare the meter to a standardized lab test. This is the best way to determine which of the three meters is the most accurate.Also, if you go to their websites they should have some clinical data posted comparing their system's accuracy to a lab standard. If accuracy is important to to you I would invite you to take a look at the data for the WaveSense KeyNote meter: I have been using the KeyNote for the past 5 months with my MiniMed 715. I used to use the Paradigm since it talked to my pump, but I have gotten used to simply inserting my blood sugars into my pump to use the Bolus Wizard. I began working for the company who makes the KeyNote this summer. If I can answer any questions for you please feel free to contact me.

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