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Posts tagged ‘Lifescan’

Verio Sync: Unanticipated Glitch.

The Verio Sync meter and I have been happy friends for a few years now, starting back in late 2013.  (Here’s that first post, with disclosures aplenty. Second impressions are here.)  

I honestly can’t figure out why more people aren’t using this meter.  It’s fast, it’s accurate, and the Reveal app is awesome.  This meter has been the best fit for me in the last few years, which is a big statement because I historically revolt against excessive change when it comes to diabetes tech.

Bottom line:  I like this meter.  Quite a bit.

Footnote on bottom line:  Until last week, when I tried to upload my information to the app, which had been recently  updated on my phone, which meant the app needed all of my information again, only to realize that the PIN had worn off my meter and I couldn’t enter it into the app.

Holy run-on sentence, but the end result is no PIN?  No upload.  No upload?  No data access.

Pain in the ass, that is.  Had I known, I would not have updated the app on my phone.  Had I known, I would have written the PIN down on a piece of paper.

But wait a second … I was just at Joslin with my endocrinologist, and she was able to plug my meter into her computer and upload my data.  No PIN, no hassle.  She had some magical data system that siphoned my health data into their files.  How come my doctor can access my data but I can’t?

The guy who talked to me for ages on the One Touch customer service line was very nice, and very helpful, only ultimately couldn’t do anything other than offer to send me a new meter (which still has not arrived).

“You’ll receive a shipping label to return the old meter,”  he mentioned.

“Can I wait a few weeks to return it?  I want to see if my doctor can get the data off that meter before I send it back.  I want those numbers, if I can get them,” I asked.

“Sure thing.  Not a problem.”

So he was very nice.  But the underlying problem here is that the data on that meter is mine.  My glucose data, generated every morning, every time I eat, and every night before bed.  It’s the specifics of my diabetes day, dictating the content of my dinner plate and influencing the integrity of my CGM sensor.  That information is mine.  And yet my doctor has the key to open access but I do not.  She has a “pro” account but I’m managing my disease daily, and yet I can’t access my own data from my own machine.

This doesn’t make sense. It’s my data! This problem can be fixed once patients are given the tools to manage their condition, instead of information being held behind a wall of medical privilege. You know … once we’re viewed as “pros,” too.

UPDATE: Lifescan called me a few minutes ago. Here’s the rundown:

Airplane Mode.

When it comes to traveling by airplane, I follow all of the rules (if you don’t turn off your cell phone when it’s time to take off, I’m the one shooting you panicked looks, which is how my face remains for the duration of the flight).  Until we’re up in the air, I leave my Dexcom receiver fully shut down and when I was using the Ping meter, I kept the RF (radio frequency, aka the automagic shuttling of blood sugars from my meter to my pump) shut off.

imagine my delight when I finally figured out that pressing the button on the side of my Verio Sync twice in rapid succession would put my meter into airplane mode!  (IMAGINE IT!!!)

(But did I test in my seat on the airplane?  I’ll never tell.  😉 )

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.

Check Yourself.

Sometimes it’s not about the actual “pricking of the finger” but more the “finding out what the number is.”  Here’s a new video post about the power of knowing your numbers, in efforts to not wreck yo self.

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