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Talking Meters
What’s New?

by Ann S. Williams, Ph.D., R.N., C.D.E.

Accessible instructions: No audio instructions are provided with the Prodigy Audio and Prodigy Autocode meters: The voice guides the user through the steps for monitoring, but instructions for other meter functions such as coding or changing the volume are not available in a nonvisual format. The Prodigy Voice, however, talks the user through all set-ups and steps.

Coding: Coding is required for the Prodigy Audio, and the code number is not available nonvisually. Coding is not necessary for the Prodigy Autocode or the Prodigy Voice.

Size of blood drop: 0.6 microliters.

Placement of blood drop: The strip pulls in the blood drop through a tiny opening that is easy to locate at the end of the strip. However, for a user who has very low or no vision, remembering where the blood drop is on the finger and applying it to the strip can be difficult. (See “Placing Blood Accurately on the Strip” for more details.)

Time for results to appear: 6 seconds.

Results: Voiced clearly. Only the Prodigy Voice features a repeat button that will repeat results.

Meter’s memory size: Can store up to 450 memory results, including the date and time of each reading.

Memory accessibility: Readings stored in memory are displayed only on the screen in the Prodigy Audio and Prodigy Autocode models. The Prodigy Voice model will talk users through audible averages and memory records with date and time.

Computer interface: The distributor has free software available on its Web site. Data stored in the meter memory can be uploaded to a computer via a purchased cable. However, the software program is not accessible with a computer screen reader.

Extras: The meter gives the room temperature during the startup procedure.

SensoCard Plus

Size of meter: 3.40″ x 2.00″ x 0.60″.

Cost of the meter: Not yet available in the United States as of this writing. The system is expected to cost approximately $200.

Meter and strip availability: Only available outside the United States until it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The distributor is BBI Healthcare (see “Resources”).

Clarity of the voice: The voice is clear and easy to understand.

Available languages: English (with a British accent) or German.

Volume: Cannot be adjusted. Does not have an earphone to allow private use in public spaces.

Repairs: The voice and meter are one entity, so if either malfunctioned it would be repaired by the same distributor.

Size of the strips: 1.10″ x 0.30″.

Ease of handling strips: Easy to handle for most people. Some people with dexterity problems may have difficulty.

Insertion of strips: The insertion end has squared corners. The blood application end is angled with a blunt tip. (See “Strips: Which End Is Which?”) To insert nonvisually, it is important to determine which side should face up. A blind user can do this by feeling the insertion end of the strip between a thumbnail and fingernail. The side that has a ridge should face up. This is important, because if a strip is inserted upside down, the meter turns on and gives the prompt for blood application. However, it will not give a reading with an upside-down strip.

Accessible instructions: Audio instructions in American English are planned for the U.S. introduction of this meter.

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Also in this article:
Insurance Coverage for Talking Meters
Strips: Which End is Which?
Getting a Blood Drop onto a Strip



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