Blood sugar testing is a regular chore for those affected by diabetes. A blood glucose meter is always helpful and the Accu-Chek Aviva meter fits the bill.
The Accu-Chek Aviva has arrived with leaflets, manuals, small boxes, a black wallet and a blue-grey curvaceous device.
There are a lot of attachments and options to the Accu-Chek Aviva blood glucose meter. The delivery system for the lancets was clever and appears a little ahead of the mainstream. I was impressed by the sealed unit that held six lancets in a 2cm barrel: no more fiddling with individual lancets; no more pricking yourself prematurely; no more pricking the person next to you in error. Once the lancet device was slotted into the pen that was it. The pen itself is a good size and, after a little practice, is easy to prime.
The only disappointment on the design side, for me, is that the window on the pen doubles as an indicator to announce that the lancet is ready for action, and also as the firing button. Even with my good vision, it was not that easy to see the yellow indicator unless there was good light.
In some households, one could easily see someone giving up in frustration. Diabetic patients with a touch of retinopathy and cataract may find it difficult to visualise. Having said that, I tried to load the device and prick myself with my eyes closed and was spectacularly successful.
It is true, as it says on the box, that the prick is almost painless. The depth of pricking can be fine-tuned over 10 settings. However, I did not try level 10 as I feared pinning my thumb to the table.
The pen is clever, clean, moderately easy to use and can be used at different sites with a special adaptor supplied.
The meter is easy to use with electronic, code-chipped strips. What I like about this part of the kit is that there is a code strip provided separately which inserts into a specially designated slot on the side of the meter. This put a stop to fiddling with code entry each time you change to a different batch of test strips.
However, the code strip must be changed when you start a new packet of strips. You also need a little dexterity, fairly nimble fingers and decent peripheral neurology to work the code strip.
All the above means nothing against the next bit. Being a typical technophile I avoided reading the leaflet which meant I failed to observe a little red window at the top of the meter.
As I was preparing to dispose of the leaflet, it fell open at the central page and the words 'computer' and 'PDA' jumped out at me.
The Accu-Chek Aviva allows you to download readings to a computer or PDA by the wonders of infrared beaming. This sounds about as close to heaven as one could hope to get.
As with most glucometer appliances, this is a single-person set-up.
I liked it and I can certainly see recommendations going out to my patients.
- An independent review by Dr Peter Ilves, a GP in west London and medical director of Primary Solution (UK)
- Equipment provided by Williams Medical Supplies