Blood Glucose Meter ratings - Consumer Reports November 2011

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LanieG
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   Posted 10/4/2011 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok, here it is in brief:  the top four in accuracy with very good ratings in repeatability and convenience are
 
1. Accu-Chek Compact Plus  (score 79 out of 100)
2. Accu-Chek Aviva   (score 78)
3. TRUEResult (Walgreens)   (score 75)
4. Bayer Breeze 2    (score 74)
 
These received an excellent rating in accuracy and very good in repeatability and convenience.  Most have those additional perks like downloading the info to your PC; some have a cartridge for loading the test strips for convenience.
 
The article suggests not to focus on the price tag of the meter (from $9 for Walmart's ReliOn to $84 for OneTouch UltraSmart).  These rated # 7 and #13 respectively.  We need to consider the cost of the test strips, something we already know!  Looking down the list of the 17 meters, the ones with the least expensive test strips are the ReliOn meters and TrueTrack (#16).  CR based this cost per year on using four test strips a day.
 
An interesting note is that the OneTouch UltraSmart received an excellent rating in accuracy but only good in repeatability and convenience which is why it wasn't in the top four above.
 
The others with accuracy in parentheses:
 
5. FreeStyle Freedom Lite (excellent)   (score 70)
6. TRUE2go (Walgreens) (very good)     (score 69)    
7. ReliOn Confirm  (very good)       (score68)
8. One Touch Ultra 2  (very good)     (score 66)
9. ReliOn Micro (excellent)     (score 65)
10. One Touch UltraMini   (very good)     (score 64)
11. FreeStyle Lite  (excellent)     (score 63)
12. ReliOn Ultima  (very good)     (score 62)
13. OneTouch UltraSmart  (excellent)     (score 58)
14. Bayer Countour USB  (good)     (score 54)
15. Nova Max Plus Advanced Tech.  (good)     (score 54)
16. TrueTrack  (very good)     (score 53)
17. Bayer Contour  ( good)  (Mine!  mad  )  (score 52) 
 
Accuracy put the meters ahead of others but they lost points if their repeatability and convenience weren't also as good.
 
CR says they compared these models with a standard laboratory analyzer and they had a panel of 6 people with diabetes rate their convenience.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

Post Edited (LanieG) : 10/8/2011 12:29:08 PM (GMT-6)


Chaul22
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Total Posts : 166
   Posted 10/5/2011 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Cool, I think my last meter was One Touch Ultra, and my current one is AccuCheck Aviva with the extra accessory that allows me to download the readings for the past few weeks and print out a report. It plugs in as kind of an USB drive that has web page stored on it. You load the web page in your web browser and the device communicates with the meter to download the results in a readable form with daily graphs, trends, and of course the result diary. I would be curious to know how the same function has been implemented with other meter, and maybe they don't even require extra accessories.

Sherrine
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   Posted 10/5/2011 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
As I've said before, I love my Breeze 2.  The info can be downloaded into the computer but I don't do that.  But, I just love the fact that the strips are in disks that hold ten strips.  No more unwrapping of the strips and putting them in the meter.  I just pull out a lever and out pops a strip! 
 
I started out with the OneTouch meters but had great difficulty finding the strips!  I hope that has changed.  But, because of that, I switched to the Breeze 2.
 
Lanie, thanks for this info.  I think it's really good to know!
 

Sherrine

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Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Glaucoma, Scoliosis
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LanieG
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   Posted 10/5/2011 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to change my meter.  I haven't decided which one though.  I don't want all the bells and whistles of downloading it all to a computer so that feature is not important to me.  Since I have a doctor's appointment next week, I need to decide which one I want so I can have the doctor write a prescrition for the test strips.  On the other hand I have about 150 test strips left for my Bayer Contour (#17 on the list!).  Hmm.  Maybe I should wait till the next app't.  so I can use up the strips. 
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

don826
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   Posted 10/8/2011 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Lanie, what is the spread from good to excellent? The difference may not be significant. Is the error on the high side or low side? I use a Walgreen's True Track and it works pretty well as far as I can tell. I am a bit new to this glucose testing as I have been recently diagnosed as pre diabetic or diabetic type II (two different docs) due to treatment for another illness. My readings seem to run between 90 and 115 before meals but hit 130 to 160 a couple of hours later. The diagnosis was based on an A1c at 10% after and ER visit where my glucose was 200. Took another A1c two months later and below 6%. If the meter I am using is grossly inacccurate I would sure want to know if the readings are typically higher that actual or err on the low side.
 
Don

LanieG
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   Posted 10/8/2011 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Don. According to the article in Consumer Reports (November 2011), current standards in this industry require that these devices be "accurate within 20 percent points of lab readings."   I presume, then, that any blood glucose meter for sale in this country would be following those guidelines.  CR recommeds the first 12 meters based on their tests for accuracy and reliability.  With a leeway of 20% either way, we may never know if our meter is reading higher or lower than the true blood sugar reading.  The TrueTrack's overall score was a 53 out of 100 giving it a "good" rating, with a "very good" rating in accuracy.  I think it lost points in repeatability and convenience because those scores were rated only "good".  Of course this is in comparison to other meters whose accuracy was rated "excellent" and higher scores in the other two criteria. 
 
I think consistency, what they call "repeatability", is as important as accuracy.  I don't think the two can really be separated. 
 
You might want to stop and buy the magazine or look at that particular page (p. 52) in the issue in a bookstore. 
 
Your first question about the spread.  The top-rated meter received a 79 out of 100.  The last meter came in at 52.  I'm going to edit my first post and put those overall scores in.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

Post Edited (LanieG) : 10/8/2011 12:07:50 PM (GMT-6)


WillC
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   Posted 10/19/2011 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I use Accu-Chek Compact Plus have been using it for years, it is great no problems I'm using a Accu-Chek Multiclix Lancet device that I had with another Accu-Chek device, combined they are great

LanieG
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   Posted 10/19/2011 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations on having the monitor that tested out the best!  yeah
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

WillC
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Total Posts : 449
   Posted 10/20/2011 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Also my insurance will only alow me to exchange monitors once every five years

wodin
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Total Posts : 488
   Posted 10/28/2011 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
My health care plan only has One Touch strips, so I'm limited to that company, fortunatly, the Ultra and Mini both rate "Very Good". I have one of each, I keep the Mini in the car for those times I want a reading before eating and I'm not at home.

I think I recall the last CR ratings a couple of years ago rating the Mini as being the best overall in terms of accuracy/cost.
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Judy2
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   Posted 10/29/2011 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
I use One Touch Ultra, and my home readings are always about 5% higher than lab, which is perfect for me. I consider it more important whether it goes up or down than whether it's spot-on accurate. If my glucose is lower than it was yesterday, I know I'm going in the right direction. If not, I have a stern talk with myself.
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LanieG
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   Posted 11/9/2011 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
If anyone's head is spinning with all this information, I'm right with you.  I don't know about other countries but in the US, there is an industry standard that these meters have to adhere to, plus or minus 20% accuracy.  Of course we now know that this will change with different brands of meters (even different brand models) and what range of blood sugar is being tested.  Even so, I can tell you that I am thankful we have these meters.  When my mom suffered from diabetes over 30 years ago, there were no meters for patients to use as far as I know.  I think they only used strips to test urine. 
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

LanieG
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   Posted 6/10/2012 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
bump for new reading
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

-Lloyd
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   Posted 6/10/2012 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I use the bayer contour usb. I tested just before leaving for blood draw for labs, 88. Glucose reported at the lab, 88.

-Lloyd
T2 18 yr, Metformin & Apidra (Pump), 80 carbs/day
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LanieG
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 3344
   Posted 6/10/2012 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I still have my old and new Bayer Contours but I'm going to look into getting one of the meters rated better on the Consumer Reports list.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

Mammatus
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Total Posts : 98
   Posted 6/10/2012 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Walmart...cheap meter...cheap strips. It's not rocket science....

Jack28
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   Posted 7/21/2012 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a question. There seem to be two meters out there with similar names: TrueResult (Walgreens) and just TrueResult. Is there really a difference?

LanieG
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   Posted 7/21/2012 7:03 AM (GMT -6)   
If it's the same name, it's the same meter.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

Jack28
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   Posted 7/21/2012 7:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Here are links to both of them:

www.amazon.com/Walgreens-Trueresult-Blood-Glucose-Meter/dp/B006F0WIV8

www.amazon.com/TRUEResult-Blood-Glucose-Starter-Kit/dp/B002CGT08S/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hpc_1

So the meters should be identical, except for the Walgreens label on one of them? I don't really understand the point of that.

OK, thanks, Lanie--I'll assume they're identical and get the less expensive one. :)

Chaul22
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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 7/21/2012 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I just got a new meter, Accu-Check Nano. I wonder where this one is placed. I changed the meter because for some reason the old Aviva couldn't interface with the IR reader at the nurses. So, the nurse gave me a new smaller meter that should work. The package was also supposed to come with a universal key for the strips, but I'm not so sure is the one I put into the meter a universal one or not (should work with any strip without key change).

Edit: Or actually, is Aviva and Aviva Nano the same thing in different housing..

LanieG
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   Posted 7/21/2012 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
confused    If the strip fits......  I have no idea.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled so far by diet and exercise
very low carb way of eating

Chaul22
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Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 7/22/2012 1:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Based on the markings on the strips container, these same "Accu-Check Aviva" strips are good for four different meters - Aviva, Aviva Nano, Aviva Compact and Aviva Expert.
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