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Talking Meters
What’s New?

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

Clarity of the meter’s voice: The voice is clear, but quite rapid. It can be difficult to understand for people with hearing impairment or slow comprehension.

Available languages: English, French, and Spanish.

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

Repairs: The manufacturer of the meter is different from the manufacturers of the speech boxes. If a speech box malfunctions, therefore, it must be repaired by its manufacturer, not the meter company.

Size of strips: about 1.80″ x 0.60″ (for OneTouch Basic).

Ease of handling strips: Large enough to be easy to handle. However, the target area where the blood drop is applied can be damaged by touching it, so the user must avoid touching that area.

Insertion of strips: Insertion end has a notch, making it easy to identify nonvisually. Easy to insert nonvisually.

Accessible instructions: Instructions for the speech boxes are available on audiotape, but those for the meter are not. The voice reads everything that appears on the meter’s visual display, including all steps necessary for checking blood glucose level.

Coding: This meter must be coded, and the code number is not available nonvisually.

Size of blood drop: 5 microliters, a relatively large blood drop compared to more recent meters.

Placement of blood drop: The blood drop must be placed in the target area in the center of the strip. One way of ensuring that a large enough blood drop is placed in the right place is to use a Sure-Drop, a bracket that fits over the OneTouch Basic and directs a blood drop to the target area on the strip. (The Sure-Drop is available from Captek/Science Products for $24.95 plus $7.95 for shipping and handling.) Another method for finding the target area is to apply tactile markings to the removable strip holder (the plastic piece into which the strip is inserted) using 3-dimensional fabric paint or marker, and then to use these markings to help place the blood drop correctly.

Time for results to appear: 45 seconds.

Results: Read clearly, and can be repeated.

Meter’s memory size: 75 results, including dates and times.

Memory accessibility: Memory is fully accessible through the speech boxes.

Computer interface: Data from all of the OneTouch meters can be uploaded to a computer using software and cables from the manufacturer. However, the software program is not accessible with a computer screen reader.

Prodigy Audio, Prodigy Autocode, and Prodigy Voice

Size of meter: 3.80″ x 1.80″ x 1.00″ (Prodigy Audio and Prodigy Autocode) and 3.50″ x 2.00″ x 0.80″ (Prodigy Voice): small enough to be easily carried in a pocket or purse.

Cost of meter: About $30 for the Prodigy Audio and Prodigy Autocode; about $85 for the Prodigy Voice.

Meter and strip availability: The meter and strips are widely available through durable medical equipment companies and suppliers of accessible equipment for people with visual impairment.

Clarity of the meter’s voice: Clear, easy to understand.

Language availability: English or Spanish.

Volume: Can be adjusted. Only the Prodigy Voice has an earphone jack to allow private use in public spaces.

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

Size of the strips: about 1.30″ x 0.30″.

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

Insertion: The insertion end has squared corners, and the end that sticks out of the meter has rounded corners. (See “Strips: Which End Is Which?”“) The strip is easy to insert nonvisually. Although it can be inserted upside down, doing so does not turn on the 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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