First Impressions: VerioIQ.
Meter accuracy is a top diabetes priority for me. Top. I don't care if the meter is red or blue or made out of saran wrap and bleu cheese (actually, I would care about that because bleu cheese smells like crumbled up farts ... yes, it does), but if it's accurate and precise, I want in. In the past, I've experienced a lot of frustrating variability with all kinds of meters, and nothing shakes my confidence more than seeing three different numbers IN A ROW from the same meter. Chaos, defined, that is.
Thanks to the outreach of a PR company, on behalf of Lifescan, I received a first look at the new VerioIQ glucose meter. And I am relieved, relieved, relieved.
When I was in California a few months ago, I spoke with the Lifescan team about life with diabetes and the impact of the diabetes community. I also, in sidebar conversations, voiced my concerns about meter accuracy, precision, and overall "trustability." During our discussions, the VerioIQ was mentioned, and I couldn't wait to see it for myself.
So when it arrived last week while I was in NYC, I couldn't wait to get home and crack it open.
First visual impressions: It looks jazzy. As Kim mentioned, this thing looks less like a glucose meter and more like an iPod. At my friend's house last night, I whipped it out to test and she was all, "Hey, is that a new meter?" and I was all "Yup - interesting looking, right?" and she was all "It's way cooler than the other ones" and I was all "Holla."
Aside from a streamlined look and a really nice color screen, this meter has a light. On the end. Where the strip goes. This development has been missing from One Touch meters, in my opinion, and is what made my experience with Freestyle that much better. But the VerioIQ lights up, so even if you're testing in the middle of the night in the pitch dark with a cat weaving around your arms, you can see what's going on. Very helpful.
I also like the way it charges; this meter has rechargable batteries, and I like that I can plug it into the wall and charge it up, instead of toting batteries around with me. I'm not sure how long one battery charge lasts, but I'll find out soon.
UPDATE: From the PR company, responding to some of our comments here: "You mentioned not knowing how long the battery lasts. FYI, when fully charged, the meter will perform tests for up to two weeks between charges. The meter also provides several alerts when the battery is running low – this is to help prevent the situation you mention, being stuck without a charged battery. However, if someone doesn’t charge the battery and the battery is completely discharged, you will not be able to test.
If battery power is too low to do a blood glucose test, you can connect the meter (via USB or AC adapter, both included) for a 60 second rapid charge. After the rapid charge, you will need to disconnect the meter from the wall outlet or computer before testing your blood glucose. After testing, reconnect your meter and complete the charge."
First strip impressions: The strips that come with the VerioIQ are completely different. They look like little golden pitchforks, and they are thinner than my other One Touch strips. They also suck the blood in from the side instead of the top, which is a different adjustment. And according to the Canadian Lifescan website, these strips have "SmartScan™ Technology [that] analyzes your blood sample 500 times to correct for common interferences and deliver precision with every result."
Oh yeah? I tested these strips against the Ping meter, the Freestyle, and my Dexcom CGM, and so far, so good. The VerioIQ is almost SPOT ON with my Dexcom trends, and repeat testing (three times in a row) hasn't showed me any uncomfortable variability. The results are no more than 25 points from one another, and I'm hoping this is a trend that continues.
First overall impressions: I want to like this meter. I do like it so far, but I'm not one to jump on the "I LOVE THIS!" bandwagon without doing a little more (literal) testing. Like I said, accuracy and precision are my most coveted bits, and I want this meter to be the gold standard. I've been a One Touch user for a whole pile of years now, and my insurance also gives priority to this brand of meter. (I know - making decisions based on insurance sucks, but if it supports a meter I like, I'll roll with it.) I want this meter to help me make decisions that will help me improve my A1C. I want this meter to represent true progress in blood glucose management technology. Sure, it looks cooler and more in line with today's technology, but I want it to WORK.
So far, I like it. I hope this trend holds. If it does, I'll build a special little house for the VerioIQ to live in, and I'll make it lunch every day.
ANOTHER UPDATE: The PR company also reached out to confirm that the meter is FDA approved and is currently shipping to retailers, to be available to us in 4 - 5 weeks. Rock and roll!!
[Disclosure time: I received this meter for free, in addition to 50 test strips. I was not asked to write about it, but I'm pretty sure they knew I would. I'm okay with that. My opinions about this meter, One Touch, and bleu cheese are all my own. I have an existing relationship with Animas Corporation. I also have one, small, gray cat that is for sale. Any takers?]