Pros: Much smaller than other meters I have used.
As Len has had his One Touch Ultra blood glucose monitoring system for over a year now, I thought I should write a review about it. I have just up-dated the Accu-Chek review, which I wrote back in November of 2,000.
Len has been a diabetic for 30 years or more, and initially controlled his diabetes with one pill and diet. Back in 1995 he had several heart attacks, quintuple by-pass surgery, and ended up going on insulin twice a day to control his sugar levels.
At this time he purchased a blood glucose monitoring system and had to pay for it and the test strips. I was so happy when he got to Medicare age and went on a H.M.O. Now this machine and blood testing strips are free. For years he had the Accu-Chek advantage meter and test strips. This machine was accurate and we were very pleased with it at the time.
Len changed his H.M.O and when it was time to have a new system, the Accu-Chek was not available. He was given a couple to choose from, so I went to the web-site, and found that the One Touch Ultra had the most advanced features, out of the two offered.
The original package came with:
The blood glucose meter.
10 of the one touch strips for testing.
One touch ultrasoft automatic blood sampler.
A carrying case.
Owner's booklet and a quick reference guide.
The batteries already installed.
So why is this more advanced?
This blood glucose machine is much smaller and lighter than the Accu-Chek advantage. I would say it is 3 inches x 2 and a half inches, and 1 inch in depth at the top, and half an inch at the bottom. It is a dark blue with white writing on it. It has a large L.C.D. screen in the middle. At the top it has the name, 'One Touch Ultra'. Below the screen are M, for the memory and C, for the code. At the top of the machine is a slot for the test strip to go in, and at the bottom is a hole, for a cable to download test results. This cable is not included.
Len can test his sugar level anything from 2 to 5 times a day depending on how he feels, and what he has eaten. When he exerts a lot of energy he often gets sugar lows. When this happens it is great to have a fast machine. He cleans the finger he is going to use, and then gets out a lancet to prick his finger. With this machine you can also use blood from the arm as well, however they do suggest you check with your doctor, and also read the owner's booklet.
When everything is ready he inserts the test strip, which switches the machine on, and then uses the lancet to draw blood. With this machine you need less blood than the Accu-chek system. He just squeezes a little onto the test strip and the result shows up in just 5 seconds. The number shows up really large in the L.C.D. screen.
That is how simple it is to use. There is no cleaning involved.
Len automatically gets 100 test strips and 100 lancets delivered to our home, for free of charge each month. Now it is imperative that the code on the test strips is the same code in the machine, right now Len's is 31.
It also came with the logbook, which he doesn't use. This little book has seven months of spaces to write in sugar readings, insulin amounts, diet, exercise, comments etc. Len enters his sugar readings on his calendar and then types them on one sheet to give to the doctor. If he wanted too he could just check the memory button. It gives the past 150 readings including the date and time. It will also average out a 14 or 30-day period. That is progress.
The carrying case is black and has a zipper around 3 sides. It has a loop to go on a belt, and the other side has a pocket with Velcro to secure it. Upon opening it, the meter goes in a plastic slot, and the lancet has it's own place too. Then the other side has another pocket with a zipper to close it. This is very handy.
So this is Len's machine, but I use it once a month to check my sugar readings. Mine tend to be on the low side, so it is good for me to know what it is. I hate the sight of blood and have been known to pass out on many occasions. However, I actually prick my finger before putting the test strip in, to turn on the machine. This gives me extra time to ensure I get enough blood on the test strip. Although it does state that the "exclusive fastdraw design test strip requires just a tiny drop of blood." I have to make myself squeeze my finger to get it. This machine does work every time for me. With the Accu-chek, many times I didn't get enough blood on the strip, and gave up without getting a reading.
This machine comes with a three-year warranty. It is distributed by LifeScan, Inc., Milpitas, CA 95035.
Their web-site is www.LifeScan.com.
Made in China.
I am truly thankful I am not a diabetic, but I have also had to do sugar tests for clients in their homes. I have to say that this is the best machine I have used so far. However, newer models come out on a regular basis. Len will be ready for another new machine next year, so if you are using one that sounds better, let me know.
Len got his One Touch Ultra Blood Glucose Monitoring System for free. I checked out the price at Walgreen's drug store and it was $69.99. However, most weeks in the Sunday papers, you will find drug stores offering meters for free. You may have to take an old one in, or do a rebate, but this is much better than paying full price. The test strips run anything from $79 to $89 for 100, just depends on where you purchase them.
Thanks for reading.
Accu-Chek Advantage Meter.