Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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New Tools 2009

by Alwa A. Cooper

All year long, research and development teams work to top themselves, coming up with new ways to empower people to better control their diabetes. More than a few notable products came out of this year’s efforts — including some new drugs and devices, as well as improvements on existing ones. Several devices were aimed at making insulin injections easier and less painful, an array of new meters offered specific features for a variety of special needs, and a new insulin pump manufacturer joined the marketplace while another exited.

Blood glucose meters

Accu-Chek Compact Plus

Product: Accu-Chek Compact Plus

Manufacturer: Roche Diagnostics
(800) 858-8072

What it does: The Accu-Chek Compact Plus’s “all in one” design includes a drum of 17 preloaded test strips and a detachable Accu-Chek Softclix Plus lancing device, which offers 11 different depth settings. The meter requires a 1.5-microliter blood sample, which can be drawn from the fingertips, palms, forearms, upper arms, thighs, or calves, and delivers results in 5 seconds. The Accu-Chek Compact Plus saves up to 500 readings in its memory, and can provide 7-, 14-, and 30-day blood glucose averages. The meter does not require coding when starting a new drum of test strips.

Availability: The Accu-Chek Compact Plus is available in most pharmacies.

Contour USB meter

Product: Contour USB meter

Manufacturer: Bayer
(800) 348-8100

What it does: The design of Bayer’s no-code Contour USB meter, in a first for blood glucose meter technology, incorporates a USB connector that allows the user to connect it directly to a personal computer without the use of a cable. The meter is preloaded with Bayer’s Glucofacts Deluxe diabetes management software, which offers several different glucose data reports when the meter is plugged in to a computer. The meter requires a 0.6-microliter blood sample and returns readings in 5 seconds. It can store up to 2,000 glucose readings that can be marked as pre- or postmeal or by physical condition, such as “sick” or “stressed,” using the Notes feature. The user can also set an alarm on the meter to go off when it’s time to take another reading. It includes 500 MB of additional memory to store other diabetes information — the extra space appears as a separate disk on the desktop of a personal computer — which can be edited while the meter is connected to the computer.

Availability: The Contour USB meter will be available in November 2009 at select online pharmacies; a list of these pharmacies can be found at www.bayercontourusb.com.

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