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First Impressions: One Touch Verio Sync.

[Disclosures up front:  I currently have a contract with Animas and I have received the Verio Sync meter for review prior to the full US launch. I was not asked to write this review.  Opinions shared, for better or for worse, are mine.  Typos, too.]

“Mawm!  Are there cookies in there?” my daughter asked, after the package containing the Verio Sync meter was delivered.  (Not sure why, as we’ve yet to receive cookies in the mail.)

“No, it’s a new meter.  To check my blood sugar,” I replied.

“Oh.  To make sure it isn’t whoa?”

I’ve been using the Verio IQ for over a year now, and I have a good relationship with that meter.  (It still buys me flowers, and I scratch its back before bed.)  I’m adjusting to not using the Ping remote to bolus (though I miss that feature) and I don’t often use the tagging feature, but I like that it’s available, if I want to use it.  Basically, I want my meter to give me accurate results and to fit into my insurance coverage.  Those are my two big needs.  If it’s cool to look at and does fancy things, even better, but those first two needs make or break my relationship with a meter.

Testing out the Verio Sync wasn’t a big switch, but there are differences between the Sync and the IQ.  The Sync, at its core, is the same meter but it syncs up with my iPhone via the One Touch Reveal app, sucking all the results over and logging them automagically.

Comparing the Sync to the IQ is apples to apples, for me, because I was already happily using the IQ.  That said, I like these apples.  Personal pros and cons?  Got ‘em.

PROS of the VERIO SYNC:

  • It looks and feels like the meter I was using (Verio IQ).  The results are consistent with my Verio IQ, and with my Dexcom results.  It fits into the meter bag I use.  It uses the same strips as the IQ.
  • The syncing mechanism is easy, and seamless, in that the Bluetooth capability on my iPhone needs to be active, and the Sync needs to be paired with my phone.  The set-up process took a matter of seconds.
  • The interface of the application is very visual, and downright pretty.  Like with the Dexom G4 system, adding in color-coding as a reference point is terrific because it gives me a quick look at how my blood sugars are doing.  Lots of green means I’m in-range often, while blue and red signify lows and highs, respectfully.  The bar graph of in-range/out-of-range is also calculated by percentages, which gives a more finely tuned look into my numbers.
  • Logging specifics like insulin dose (kind, units), activity levels (type, duration, exertion level), and being able to fine-tune the timing of my day through the logbook set-up make for personalized diabetes management.  My doctor will love this data, and I’d do well to look at it more closely.  (But how long will it be before I burn out on inputting all that data, and return to my basic meter needs of “be accurate, be covered?”)
  • Also, every data point has the option for notes, which makes a HUGE difference for me in terms of actually making the data useful.  I can say that I was 240 mg/dL before 60 minutes of moderate exercise, but being able to add that I took a correction bolus before exercising puts a post-exercise low into context more precisely than me looking at the results a few days later, forgetting I had corrected, and thinking that the moderate exercise dropped my blood sugar more than it did, in reality.  Data is most useful in context, and open-field note options are long overdue in this kind of diabetes software.  And not just in the blood sugar result data points, but ALL data points.

  • One thing I always look at on my meter(s) are the averages, and the Sync gives averages in an overall sense, but also offers blood sugar averages by time-of-day (and looking at mine, I see that that lunchtime results could use some love, as could before bed.)

CONS of the VERIO SYNC:

  • Even though the device was paired and the Bluetooth was on, it didn’t sync automagically for the first few blood sugar checks.  I’m not sure why.  Now, a week later, it syncs fine.
  • Leaving the Bluetooth active on my phone sucks the battery life away.  Not optimal, especially while traveling.
  • Entering the logbook times of day was awkward.  Sliding the little white dots around to indicate the time took longer than it should have because my fingers are stupid.
  • The Sync has a white-text-on-black-screen feel on the meter itself.  This is the biggest con, for me, because the colorful screen of the Verio IQ is easier on the eyes on all levels.  Why go backwards?
  • Rechargeable meters seem to be the wave of the future, but needing to charge my meter makes me a little anxious.  I’m already worried I don’t have all the appropriate cables, etc. while I’m traveling, and now I need to make sure I have my meter charger, too.
  • I have absolutely no idea if I’m able to export the logbook to something I can print/send to my doctor.  Having it on my phone is great, but unless I can export the data to something shareable (even a Word doc), it’s only useful to me.  (Exporting the logbooks might be an option, but at the time of writing this, I haven’t figured it out yet.)
    EDIT:  I heard from the PR outreach person for Lifescan and they updated me re: the ability to export.  From her email:  “One of the comments we noticed had to do with exporting the log book to something you can print/send to your doctor. We wanted to let you know that by sending just what is on your screen, the system allows you to control what part of the logbook you’re sharing. You can use the 14-Day Results screen to email a table with all 14 days of results – just tap on the range bar on the 14-Day Glucose Report to get to the 14-Day Results Screen. When you share this screen as an email it is converted into a table.”  I tried this out by going to the 14 Day Results page and then pressing my finger against the screen and holding to bring up a “Help/Share” menu.  By clicking “Share,” I was given the option to “Email, Text, or Cancel.”  Clicking email exported the 14 Day Results page into an email – EASY.
  • If I don’t use the app, and I only use the meter, the Sync is inferior to the Verio IQ in look and feel.
  • Which brings me to the last con:  if the usual techno-joy burnout sets in and the meter becomes simply a meter (and not a clever way to easily create a logbook), it’s not as nice to use at the Verio IQ.  Accuracy seems to be the same as the IQ, but the MS-DOS look of the Sync screen isn’t nearly as nice as the updated, clean look of the Verio IQ.

If there was a way to mash up the visual appeal of the Verio IQ meter and have that be the one that automagically syncs with an iPhone app, this meter would hit all the marks for me.  For now, I’ll bounce between the Sync and the IQ as preference and phone battery allow.

Off to see if I can mail order cookies for Cyber Monday.

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kerri great post about this new metter. Loved the screen shots and your pros and cons about the meter itself. Got me thinking more about battery life when the Bluetooth is enabled on my phone… is the drain worth the pain?

    12/2/13; 10:38 am
  2. Ana from Argentina #

    Kerry, I envy you! Living in this far, far away land, access to technology (not to mention the “latest” technology) is very hard and terribly expensive. This is a great post, clearly explained and I hope to revisit when the meter becomes available here.
    Make the most of your new meter!

    12/2/13; 5:27 pm
  3. Jess #

    The big question is, does it work with android too? or is this just a special iphone users only thing?

    12/2/13; 8:47 pm
  4. The second to the last sentence is exactly how I see myself using the meter if I ever get one. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    The last sentence is a pretty good one too.

    12/2/13; 9:41 pm
  5. Karen #

    Wow…thanks for the detailed review. I love the look of the VerioIQ but we never switched to it because we love too much the link of the meter remote to her Animas Ping pump. So…if they can mash up all 3 of those things….the syncability and cool app with the cool screen display on the actual meter and the meter-remote function….SOLD!

    12/4/13; 12:22 pm
  6. Andrea #

    Hi. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the new Sync. My son has T1 and my husband asks me everyday what his numbers are. I was wondering if you knew this – but could he also have access to his numbers if he downloaded the app on HIS iPhone?

    01/8/14; 12:39 pm
  7. Is this meter compatible with Diasend? If not it’s pretty useless to me.
    Thanks,
    CK

    01/29/14; 9:54 am
  8. Javier #

    I bought this meter for my mother. So far so good. It works well and have big numbers so she can read. The sync function works OK. The part that will be great to improve is the sharing option. At this time the sharing option only allows to send a screen capture via e-mail or text to somebody else. It will be nice if it will be a full sharing option so I can download the same application on my phone and see all the results from my mother. Also a question how long does it store the data for? What happens after the 14 days that the meter makes calculations for? Does the data gets erased? Also will be nice to access this data through some web portal.

    02/26/14; 1:06 pm
  9. Paul #

    I have just started using the new SYNC, I was also using the IQ before last week.
    The SYNC sends the data to my iPhone OK but when I connect it to my laptop and try to download to OneTouch DMS software PC comes up on the SYNCs display and the DMS software on the laptop shows the SYNC serial number …. BUT then it fails to download data giving and ERROR code 3021
    I have uninstalled and reinstalled the software, deleted the old IQ log file but it still does not work.
    Has anyone successfully downloaded their results to DMS from the SYNC?
    Thanks
    Paul.

    03/2/14; 3:50 pm
    • Paul #

      I just got off the phone with OneTouch software support. The downloading error 3021 was caused by an out of date meter driver. Because I had been using the Verio IQ the meter driver that was loaded on my laptop was v1.10 the Verio SYNC requires the meter driver to be updated to v1.15
      It is available for download from the OneTouch website.
      I can now download readings from my Verio IQ and SYNC to the Lifescan DMS software.

      03/6/14; 5:14 pm
  10. The other con is that Lifescan has knowing avoided a product that works with more that 60% of the Andoid smartphones on the market. If you’re an iOS user, fine, but more than half the market isn’t and this isn’t doing anything for that market. Lifescan needs to get with the times. Beyond that, Verio is a thinly-veiled attempt to kill their much larger market for Ultra meters so that a competitor with a superior line of test strips doesn’t have a place to compete. But until J&J comes to the realization that this product doesn’t work with most of the smartphones on the market, they won’t be able to recapture their former market dominance.

    03/7/14; 11:59 am
    • Really good point, Scott, and one I don’t think about often since I am an iOS user. The Verio IQ meter is the one I used prior, and to be honest, if the Sync was pulled from the market, I’d be more than happy to go back to the Verio IQ. Just my opinion, with biases in play. ;)

      03/7/14; 12:38 pm
  11. AJ #

    Hi, I was wondering if this meter allows you to test on your arm (or on a not-finger/not-hand site), and what the sample size is (for example, 0.3 microliters). Thank you!

    03/21/14; 5:07 am
  12. DM #

    I just found the OneTouch Verio Sync. Looks like what I have been seeking for some time. I have contacted OnceTouch support seeing if they were going to go wifi. They told me not yet… Guess the right hand don’t know what the left hand is doing. Sadly I used the latest Android, and not a Ipod user. I wonder if they realize Android user want this product. When and if it comes avaible for Android user I will buy one whether my insurance covers it or not.

    05/1/14; 11:19 am
  13. Fred Riedel #

    Have used the One Touch Verio IQ for several months. Nice small unit that tests accurately and let you record a lot of information about each test but there are a few problems. First, it needs to be charges fairly often. Not a good thing when you’re on the and cannot stop for several hours to charge you meter. Next, it seems to shut itself off frequently, making you have to re-program the date and time each time it does. Also not a good thing for a diabetic on the go. I would not recommend this meter.

    06/3/14; 5:31 pm
  14. John Roberts #

    Thanks for doing this. I found a discarded I touch hanging around that the kids had abandoned for the latest Iphone. I paired that with my meter. I have a Droid phone and was searching the web for any news that Reveal for Droid was even thought about.

    07/22/14; 12:00 pm

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