New Boehringer Meter: It Needs A Drop Of Blood, But Test Results Quick As A Wink

The new Accu-Chek Instant is now the fastest blood glucose monitor available. The 12-second test is quicker than other meters whose tests take anywhere from 20 to 45 or more seconds to produce a result.

The time savings, calculated from using the meter four times a day, could be as high as 24 hours yearly in time-saved testing, according to Larry Counen, product manager at Boehringer-Mannheim.

“With a faster test, patients may actually find it more convenient to test their blood glucose more often,” he said, relying on annual consumer research the company performed.

“In 1995, our survey told us that consumers were looking for a faster test. In fact, it was one of the top three things they look for when purchasing a new blood glucose monitor,” Counen said.

The new meter can measure glucose levels at 64-90 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature-warning icon will appear and tag the results when a reading appears out of the operating range, though this warning will not prevent a reading from being taken.

The strips are shipped with over 7000 different codes, which Counen claims provides better accuracy.

There is also a visual back-up system to compare the strip test results with the color blocks on the vial to confirm the blood-glucose level range.

There are some drawbacks to the new device. The memory holds only nine entries, while some meters can store 250 or higher for future reference. There is also no time or date display on the Accu-Chek Instant monitor. The reading range of 20-500 mg/dl is sufficient but narrower than other meters on the market.

The new device also requires a large amount of blood. Company literature states the meter uses 12-50 microliters of blood where other meters on the market require far less. A study published by Dr. Jean-Fran_ois Yale of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec showed Glucometer Encore and One Touch II’s minimum blood requirement is 5 microliters, and Accu-Chek Easy and Companion 2 require only 2 microliters of blood.

Boehringer-Mannheim manufactures three different Accu-Chek blood glucose monitoring systems-Accu-Chek Advantage, Accu-Chek Instant, and Accu-Chek Easy. For example, the Easy model can memorize as many as 500 tests, while the Advantage model stores 100. The Instant model is the quickest in giving results, but stores only nine results.

Each fits a different consumer need and economic level. According to Counen, some people don’t need the extra memory.

“We believe that one size doesn’t fit all, and I think most people would agree with that,” he said. “We want to appeal to a wide range of individuals.

“The Accu-Chek Instant is for people who are testing on the run. It gives them enough testing power so they can get the tests over quickly and get on with their lives.”

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