A few days ago The Diabetes Blog posted a bit about “what features do you shop for in a meter?” And I was all set to reply today with a ranty post about “who actually shops for these things?” I mean, don’t most of us get the free or discounted models that our doctors provide at diagnosis, and then just get attached to them? I don’t know anyone who actually went out meter shopping. But maybe I’m just sheltered.
Anyway, here I was all ready to rave about my favorite meter, the handy little FreeStyle Flash from Abbott Laboratories. But then I check today’s headlines only to discover that my little buddy is getting some very bad press.
Abbott announced recently that its FreeStyle, Precision, and MediSense meters can display misleading readings IF the unit measurement is changed from the American standard of milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) to the European millimoles per liter (mmol/L).
Naturally, false meter readings can lead to some very bad diabetes mistakes. So naturally, this makes for great sensational headlines: looks like this story has blanketed the country via CBS, NBC, AOL, and a long list of local newspapers and health web sites.
May I just say: DUH.
Clearly: the meters are not defective, and the readings are not wrong.
And who wouldn’t notice that something is weird if they suddenly got a BG reading of 7?
That is, an American reading of 126 mg/dL is equivalent to 7.00 mmol/L.
Personally, I think it was very responsible of Abbott to respond to customer inquiries by issuing a warning. Based on the coverage, they may regret it. (Actually, the fact that their meters offer both standards should be considered a plus)
So, now I can get on with my rave about why the FreeStyle Flash changed my life:
- It is very, very small. So I can be a girl with a pretty purse again.
- It requires the smallest amount of blood of any monitor currently on the market (which should have been first on the list, I suppose).
- It not only has a nice backlight, but also a light out the front so
you can see what you’re doing in a dark movie theater or car.
- The lancing device is also very compact, and truly is less painful than others (i.e. “virtually pain-free” like they say in the commercial. Really!)
Sometimes the marketing folks are less full of it than you think