September 2009 Ian Chiu
Bayer, a new entrant to the glucose monitoring game, has upped the ante on all of the other big name glucose monitors by having a USB stick Glucometer, the Bayer Contour USB. With the rise in adult-onset diabetes in the world, glucose management is becoming more and more important to many people. Many of them suffer horrible consequences of having diabetes and not finding out until tragedy strikes. Even so, very few people have been willing to get tested as they get older to make sure they haven’t developed diabetes.
Many advances have been made in the past decade making diabetes management much less stressful. Modern meters require only very tiny amounts of blood and you don’t have to prick your finger tips. Many meters are just as accurate with blood samples from the hand or forearm. Once the reading has been taken, it’s effectively trapped in the small pager-like device. It’s very hard to get an idea of your daily trends or figure in the effects of stress and time of day on the tiny LCD displays. Bayer’s Contour USB is the first easily computer connected glucometer.
Accu-Chek’s Aviva did come with a built in IR sender but it was not IRDA and required a special IR adapter. All of the other monitors that offer any type of PC connectivity require the purchase of a separate serial adapter cable. One-Touch actually makes a USB connector cable but they all cost almost more than the monitor. Finally, with Bayer’s 2nd Glucose reading entrant, direct PC connection is instant. Using the free Glucofacts DELUXE software, you can upload your readings to your PC and you and your doctor can quickly review and adapt your medicine. Staying fit and trim are your best defenses against diabetes and insulin resistance but everyone can afford to occasionally have their blood checked to be sure that nothing sneaks up on them. Kudos to Bayer for advancing the development of this underutilized technology.