Category Archives: diabetes gadgets

MyDario…A new toy!

Dario diabetes management tool
Dario diabetes management tool

A month or so ago, I came across this really interesting looking meter.  I sent my son the link and asked “what do you think?”  His response was, “I need one. You should get me one.”

I laughed. I don’t exactly have the power to get him every new meter that comes out as easily as I once did.  Back in our earlier years of diabetes management, glucometers were pretty basic.  Asking a rep for a new meter was not a big deal because they wanted your test strip business.  Today many meters are now small computers.  They analyze trends and do all sorts of tricks.  This means that they cost a lot more money than they once did.

Cost or not, a new meter in our little world of diabetes has always been a big deal. Needless to say, I was really excited when I received the press release from Auto Control Medical stating that they were launching the meter that we had looked at!  Auto Control was the distributor for many great diabetes tools like the Cozmo insulin pump and the Cleo infusion set. It was therefore not surprising to see them involved with another cool innovation.

After a few emails, I was able to set up a time to chat with a representative from Auto Control  and get the details on this new toy  glucometer.

According to the press release, “the Dario Diabetes Management Solution is a compact all-in-one system that helps people with diabetes monitor blood sugar levels and proactively manage their disease using their smartphone or tablet…Approved by Health Canada, Dario connects via headphone jack to turn a mobile device into a glucose monitor, and comes equipped with a lancing device and test strips to take blood samples on the spot. It provides the diabetes patient’s real-time and historical blood glucose data to spot patterns, recommend treatments and support behavior changes. Its web interface also makes it easy to get upgrades and share health information with healthcare providers and loved ones.

As an all-in-one system, Dario combines a lancing device to obtain a blood sample, a proprietary disposable test strip cartridge with 25 strips, and a glucose meter that’s driven via the user’s mobile device. Unlike conventional glucose monitors, there is no carrying case or batteries to replace, and the system works on both Apple and Android devices.” You can see why I was excited about this new technology!

Compact system with meter, lancing device and  strips all in one spot
Compact system with meter, lancing device and strips all in one spot

After speaking with the Auto Control representative, my enthusiasm didn’t wane.  Not only was this meter compact, like my son’s beloved iBgStar, but it would not become obsolete or require me to search high and low for new adapters when he upgraded his cellphone.  Dario’s patented technology allows the user to plug the meter into the phone jack and you are good to go!

The Dario offers data sharing (great for nosy parents like me!) and is extremely feature rich according to Auto Control.  I was told that app updates will make this meter much more customizable than the competition. By updating software through apps, the meter should also have more longevity and not become obsolete before you have finished the first 100 test strips.  I haven’t had a chance yet to download the myDario apps yet but I was told that users are free to download and play even before purchasing the meter.

Yes, you do have to purchase the meter but again, the meter is less than some comparable products.  The current retail price is $39.95 but some short-term offerings are being made to help reduce the cost.  Please check with your pharmacy or www.mydario.ca for the exact details.

The Dario diabetes management tool has a meter, lancing device and 25 strip container in one small location. It uploads to most smartphones and offers detailed carb counting applications similar to those found on some smart insulin pumps. It has a standard warranty program and offers replacements on a case by case basis.   The meter and test strips are covered by most private insurance companies and will be added to provincial formularies in the coming months.

The next step for us will be to test it out in the real world.  My son got his wish and will be having a Dario delivered to him in the coming weeks.  I have told him that I want a full review from him on what he thinks about this new meter.  I will also be downloading the app from the MyDario site and seeing what I think of things from that end.  I love new diabetes toys!

 

 

 

Verio IQ..our opinion

At the beginning of the school year, our diabetes nurse suggested that we try out the Verio IQ meter.  She thought it was really “neat” and very teen friendly. I watched and watched to see if it was going to be given away free with test strips.  I know how many strips we use in a month so I was hoping that there would be some sort of an offer made…but there wasn’t.

I had a contact with LifeScan that I could ask for a sample of the meter. I have known him for years and he knows that we test a LOT but I had long since lost his contact information despite seeing him only a few months before.  I really have to be more organized!

I was forced to listen to stories and drool at the thought of playing with a new toy…until the George Canyon Heroes Tour! My luck changed! LifeScan was displaying “OUR” meter!! Better still, they were giving them away! I happily went away with a new white Verio IQ meter and of course the rep’s business card to be able to keep in contact.

My son, as I have mentioned, has inherited my love of new gadgets. Its the benefit of life with diabetes–cool new stuff! He began using it sooner than me and based on the fact that it is now his meter of choice when he is home, I am thinking that he likes it.

The first week of use was a learning curve for us.  Part of the problem is my son is male–in my experience this means that he does not believe in reading directions. He will figure it out on his own.  This meant that for at least a week, we had no idea how to turn off the meter and he would let it go off on its own causing the battery to die very quickly.

I finally decided to check out the meter myself.  Note to self, 3am is not the time to try out a new meter. Joel had shown me the amazing light for this meter so I was certain that I could test completely in the dark.  I could open the test strip canister without a light on in the room. I could use the light of the meter to insert the strip, to lance my son’s finger and get the exact right amount of blood. You can see where this is heading right? Yes, to complete disaster!

The light was incredibly bright but when I opened the strip canister I grabbed multiple strips rather than one.  The extra strips found themselves scattered all over the floor…and did I mention that this was 3am? I finally got a hold of a test strip and tried to put it in the meter.  It didn’t work.  I had two strips in my hand.  I got rid one and tried again.  I put it in upside down.  The light had turned off on me and things were not looking good. When I finally had the strip in and blood on my son’s finger…well there was not enough blood for the strip. I gave up!

I decided to learn in the light of day.  I would be prepared next time around. Despite my stumblings, my son kept using his meter and marking off his tests as before or after meals. He was a little disappointed that there was nothing to indicate that he was stressed when he tested. This was an option he found and used on his Contour USB

I was impressed at how easy it was to read the history.  At a glance, I had a great view of his tests for the day.  With a click of a button, I could see where the meter saw trouble spots.  It was great! I have to admit that I haven’t bothered to sit down and log because when he exclusively uses this meter, its all there. It tells me trends and I can make decisions based on what was going on during that time frame. Its great!

Our rep told me that the meter can be uploaded to some online software at One Touch.  I haven’t tried it. I am not great at that sort of stuff. Perhaps if he chooses to use the Verio IQ for school next fall I will have to check it out so we can sync data from the two meters. I never thought I would stop logging with paper and pen but I will say that this meter is beginning to convert me!

Strips on the floor

The Verio IQ is definitely a meter for those who love gadgets.  Its great for night testing as the backlight is amazing! Its actually a front light that lights up the strips and the space in front of it. The downside, I do have a hard time grabbing test strips at night and think that anyone with dexterity issues may find this a problem.  I also find that these test strips walk more than any other we have seen. Perhaps its the fact that they are gold and they have a superior attitude but they can be found anywhere at any time! It amazes me.

The Verio IQ is definitely a keeper! We love it and will definitely be using it to spot trends over the summer and possibly beyond.

Fantasy Diabetes Device

What would my fantasy diabetes device be? We already have part of it. I love, and my son completely LOVES his Cozmo.  My dream would be to be able to keep all of its amazing technology…with one addition. A cattle prod. You know, an electric shock device.

Vibrations and alarms just do not cut it.  When they go off, my son obliges and turns them off without looking or attending to the issue at hand.  I have always thought that if he received an electric shock, he would be more likely to pay attention to what caused the shock. He might even be proactive and change a site before he was warned. He might put in insulin before the pump is gasping for more. He might even…wait for it….test before the pump tells him too!

Ah yes, a little electrical stimulation could work wonders for his diabetes care! His hair may end up a little curlier than it currently is.  He may develop a bit of a nervous twitch but I am sure it would all be worth it in the end.  Don’t you??