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A Tour of the Contour USB Meter.

Every meter I have used over the last five years or so has been relatively similar - small, compact design, color options for the casing, and good lancing devices.  (Don't go too far back in my memory bank, or you will find The Harpoon!) 

But what I have been struggling with, as an adult with diabetes, is the whole logging thing.  With BSparl on board, my mission is more focused, but before this pregnancy, logging was something I only did the night before I went to the endocrinologists office.  It wasn't a streamlined part of my day, so it was tough to keep up with.

Today, I tried out a new meter called the Bayer Contour USB meter (pretty self-explanatory name there, no?) and in the interests of full disclosure, Bayer's PR company sent me this meter, and the accompanying 25 test strips, for free so that I could review the meter.  

These days, my life is moving quickly and without warning, so the idea of a long, drawn-out review seems to fly in the face of this quick, zippy little meter.  So here are my impressions of the Contour USB meter, in snapshots:

Plugged into the Macbook.

Wow, it looks like a USB flash drive, all plugged into the computer and whatnot.

Is this what was missing from my childhood?

OOOOOH!  Look at the pretty lancet colors!  Who would have thought that a purple or aquamarine lancet would actually bring me joy?

APPLY BLOOD.  Damnit!

The lancing device was easy to use, but didn't give me a blood sample until I poked myself three or four times.  Hard to tell if that's the device or my calloused finger tips that are at fault.  But once I was ready to apply the blood, the full-color screen was happy to accept.

Aftah my meal.

And after three seconds, my post-breakfast result came back.  (A little on the higher side, but oatmeal is a tough one for me!)

The meter has options to set your personal blood sugar goals, with a little icon of either an apple or a devoured apple to show the numbers as pre- and post-meal.  It is set up to provide 14 day averages and a built-in logbook, and just before you apply the blood sample, it gives you an option to designate the number as pre-meal or post-meal. 

There is software built into the meter, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.  (I'm hoping it works with my Macbook, otherwise I'm going to have to toggle back and forth between my PC and the Mac to get a feel for this thing.)  I'm planning to check this meter against my other meters, for both accuracy and convenience, but for a person like me who relies on insurance coverage and co-pays to provide diabetes supplies, it's tough to consider switching meters when I'm both happy with my One Touch and also completely covered by my insurance company for One Touch strips.  Options from different companies are great - especially when companies are putting out meters that are cool, like this USB one - but it would also be great if insurance companies would allow coverage shifts just as easily. 

Overall, the USB meter is pretty darn easy to use, is nice to look at, and is tiny.  I like having the option to plug it right into my computer (yes, there is a wall jack, in case you don't have a computer handy when the meter needs to charge) and I also really liked the full-color screen.  But I'd have to use it for a few weeks, and subject it to the torture chamber that is my purse, to see how it really stands up.

Has anyone else given this meter a go?

Comments

Although i keep many spares, I use my One Touch Ping meter almost exclusively so all my data matches. Lots of good that turned out to be when my hard drive crashed yesterday while i was at work. The Geeks are trying to recover it for me. The color screen on the Countour looks nice though. and colored lancets....how cool is that! I could change colors every month (when i remember to change the lance).

Nope, but I was eyeing it up just yesterday. Unfortunately, I don't think my insurance company is going to approve yet another test strip brand for me, so I'll have to pass on it for now.

It does look super cool, though!

I love that you found motivation in colored lancets! When I started on the OmniPod in January 2008, I ordered colored cotton balls to help motivate me! It worked and now I've formed the habit of testing 6 times a day! We all have our quirks!

I have, and I love it. I believe it does work with the Mac. I posted my review yesterday @ http://noncompliant.blogspot.com

The software is awesome, IMHO

What gauge are the multi colored lancets? My son only uses the BD ultra fine 33 gauge lancets that are all the same light blue color.

Macbook compatibility is HUGE. I hope it works for you!

I have the MiniMed Carelink software, but it doesn't work with Macs or Windows 7, so it's basically obsolete.

And yes, the colored stabbies are very exciting!

Kerri, can you give us an update on if it ended up working on your Mac well? I'd love to know! I see in that picture you had it plugged into the Mac USB port.

When I lived in Germany, and had German insurance, they covered whatever strips I wanted to FREE, so I tried lots of meters. My favorite was the Freestyle Lite, with the light that illuminates the strip and a backlight on the screen. I NEVER had a wasted Freestyle strip. They always worked without errors.

I also had a Bayer Contour that talked to my German pump. It was pretty plain, but it did the job.

Now I am stuck with OneTouch because those are the only strips that my US insurance covers in their "preferred" tier.

As for "pokers" I rely on the Accu-Check Softclik. It is simply the best, IMHO

I have not but it looks great. I am in the same boat as you, I am covered for One Touch and I am not going to pay out of pocket for something my insurance will cover. Bummer.

It seems like a really well-thought out meter. The fact that it's usb and small appeals to me, since I love gadgets, but I hate having a wire for everything. Seems perfect for a tech savvy PWD. :)

I use the regular Contour, and being a geek, I love the idea of tracking software. I'm interested in how this will work out for you in the "torture chamber" :) I'm sure my pockets won't be kind to it either. Let us know!

I got excited when i saw it plugged into your macbook in the first photo. But i guess that was for demonstration, initially. Please let us know if the software is Mac compatible! Otherwise, looks like a good meter!

Kerri: Interesting that you talk of logging, er the lack of. That seems to be the ONLY way I can stay on track with testing. If I don't log, by literally writing it down after each test so that I can see it in front of me, I will simply lose sight of testing and let it lapse. This provides my key motivation and challenge to better testing, and alas management. The downloading never worked out for me, as I'd fall into the same trend.

This page notes Mac compatibility 10.5.8 and up. http://www.bayercontourusb.us/apply/FAQs/Technical-FAQs

The other Mac compatible sites I have found which will work with the OneTouch meters (which are the only I know of that have USB cables) are
http://www.sweetspot.dm/ (pay per month site but its really good so far)
and
http://healthengage.net/index.cmd

Cool! Was the operative word for it here too.

The little 4 year old T1 dude we baby sit was way into the colored pokies.

Bernard (pronounced BeerInTheYard) did a review and I understand he is a fan. No word on how he feels about the colored lancets.


My first look and review (and I got a freebie too)

http://www.ydmv.net/2009/11/contour-usb-ii.html

http://www.ydmv.net/2009/10/bayer-contour-usb-first-look.html


OMG LOL i am in the middle of writing about the contour LOL thats so funny! I just had my doc order me strips for it because I love it!!!! I took pics of it to put on my blog Review will be up soon.

Yes it does work with mac. You know how i roll with that stuff these days LOL ;)

I really want one of these, but I am being dazzled slightly by the gadget factor.

I have the basic contour meter, and I can't tell you how excited I was when they bought out those multicoloured lancets. The old ones were just grey and boring. (I'm 28, for reference ;) )

Hey Bennet, it's pronounced Barnyard.

I got also got one free from Bayer. But we've been busy with the girls in A Christmas Carol and getting ready for Christmas itself. I'm going to post a review over the weekend. I talked with folks from Bayer and they said the software runs on a Mac. Also, they're hoping to get color versions of the meter itself before too long.

We just tried it.
Liked: size, convienence, fact you didn't have to buy software like OneTouch. Large number display. Easy USB connection to computer.
Disliked: Pushing a button after you inserted blood, still have to carry lancets and needle around. Wish they would up the size to a Blackberry size and build in sml. lancet and test strip holder so you could throw it all in your pocket (easier for men who don't carry purses around all day). sorry, not much detail, but watch for review next week and let me know what you think.

P.S. WTH was the deal with having to charge it before using it? Was there a battery backup? Because that would be good if you went to use it and found it wasn't charged!

I haven't tried it...lol oops, I don't have one! I love the screen! I wonder if Omnipod will become a little more advanced. Thank you for the info.

I ( from Canada ) saw this meter at the IDF Congress in Montreal and was quickly reminded, that it is not available in Canada till early 2010 . I use a Bayer Contour Link( MM pumper ) and neglected to ask if the USB meter will be linked as well .

My husband just wrote his review on the Bayer Contour. Think you might agree on a few points. http://blog.diabeticparents.org

Have a good day!

Wow. I've been pretty committed to the same few meters - for some of the same reasons you mentioned - but I really want to try this. So cool.

What does the kit bag look like??? That is what I am really wondering! Is it t he same old large size bag or a much smaller one. One of the things that really appeals to me is it's small size! A really small bag just big enough for the meter and several test strips would be great to take to a football game, hiking, cycling, etc.

Check out the Accu-Check Multiclx, this is by far the best lancing device on the market - the black marks are banished from my fingers.
https://www.accu-chek.com/us/lancing-devices/multiclix-blue.html

Haven't but really interested, where can you get the strips? Just at a pharmacy or at the hospital? How many strips are there?

Anyways I'm on three different machines. (I run out of strips fast and in Thailand they are sometimes NONEXISTENT!) And I always forget to log my numbers.

I have a Medical Exemption Certificate here in the UK so all my diabetes supplies are free, except the meter. I currently have 2 Accu-check Aviva's (one for home, one for the car) and an Aviva Nano (handbag) but I really really like the look of the contour USB meter and only £25! Wkd! Must get one esp reading all these reviews.

Thanks you guys you've been an inspiration.

P.S Does anyone know of anywhere that does blood glucos monitoring books as the ones supplied by the NHS just dont fit inside my meter case and I'm always loosing them.

I finally tried this meter out and I love it! Here's my breakdown of the features I like (and some I don't): http://mewithd.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/the-contour-usb-meter/

Contour USB is now available in Canada and works on a MAC. I just started using it about a month ago and like it very much especially using it with the available GLUCOFACTS DELUX software. Great for recording "Before" and "After" meals, adding comments and following trends etc. However sometimes I get an error message when I insert a test strip saying it is inserted upside down, which is not the case, and insert properly. I am considering taking it back for replacement or money back depending if it is an ongoing problem. I hope it is not an ongoing problem because I like it very much.

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