Friday, June 02, 2006

New glucose meter

I got a new glucose meter tonight. I'm super excited. It's the One Touch Ultra 2.

I've been currently using the UltraSmart, and before that, I used the Ultra, before that the FastTake. I had one of the early glucose meters back in the eighties that required a lot of blood, and a skilled technique. So I've used alot of meters in my day.

What I'd like to know is - does anyone bother to consult a diabetic when they design these products?

I switched from the FastTake to the Ultra because of the shorter timing (15 secs to 5 secs) and ultimately, because LifeScan was phasing out the FastTake.

I used the Ultra for quite awhile. I was pretty happy with it. But the case didn't have a place for the poker. It was hard to test on the run, with that stupid poker always falling out. There wasn't a backlight either.

I switched to the UltraSmart because I thought all the bells and whistles on it would be fun. I'd be able to do cool graphs and notice trends. However, a few months later, I realized that I'm one of those diabetics (please don't call me brittle) where there's no pattern, no rhyme or reason half the time. So I gave up using all the extra features.

The UltraSmart was bulkier than the plain Ultra but I kept using it because it had a backlight. Which I never was able to use because every time you're in the dark trying to test, the place you really want to see is the hole where the test strip goes, and if you've gotten the blood on it correctly. If you use the backlight in the dark, it blinds you and you can't see the strip at all. Which is so helpful when you're getting the error message of "not enough blood". Hello! If I could have seen where to put it, I would have had enough blood!

I'd heard about the new Ultra 2 and was interested in it for the main reason of it being smaller (with a smaller case too) and yet still having a backlight. This backlight will also light up the strip, but it's not bright enough to actually see if you've gotten enough blood on the strip.

Here's my list of ideas I would like my glucose meter to have:
1. small
2. small case that will allow me to buy a small purse instead of a huge bag
3. place for the poker
4. place for both new strip bottle, and an old one to hold used strips
5. backlight that allows me test anywhere
6. cheaper strips - $1/strip * 6-10 tests/day = lots of money

The best part about my new meter is that once I send in the rebate, it will have cost me nothing. And because it uses the same strips, if I'm not happy with it, I can always go back to using one of my other meters.