Sidekick & Amigo

I just discovered two new-ish diabetes products with cutsey names: Sidekick and Amigo (unrelated). Heh — the branding experts sure get it that we PWDs have an intimate relationship with our D-gadgets. Here are the details:Sidekick_animation_2

SIDEKICK from Home Diagnostics, Inc., is a compact little BG meter built right into the test strip vial. It’s apparently the smallest blood glucose testing system on the market. It’s available at drug stores everywhere, and very convenient for take-along I’m sure, but it does have a few drawbacks: no lancing device included (you’re expected to use one you already own), no storage/downloading of data, and price. It appears to cost at least $32 a pop without insurance, and it might be difficult to convince your insurance carrier that you need this PLUS a regular monitor and supplies. But good for emergencies and special outings like a day hike, I suppose.

Amigo_blueangle300w_1AMIGO Insulin Pump from Nipro Corporation, a multi-billion dollar company headquartered in Osaka, Japan, that’s been a healthcare leader since 1954. (It manufactures more than 85% of the insulin pumps used in Japan.) The Amigo was designed especially for the American market, with special ultra-durable plastic that comes in a choice of six colors! The pump is waterproof — tested in 12 feet of water for 30 min — and built with a “stepper motor” with a fixed drive nut attached directly to the insulin cartridge to deliver accurate results regardless of altitude or air pressure. The company brags that this is “the SUV of insulin pumps.” (Despite a short-lived product recall last year.) You can judge for yourself by checking out the comparison data.

I’m particularly curious about new D-gadgets at the moment, as after 2.5 years, the novelty of this diabetes stuff seems to be wearing off! I need a new contraption, at least, to get my motivation and my D-control in gear. Definitely getting more serious about the possibility of pumping.

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5 Responses

  1. Robert Ruby
    Robert Ruby November 21, 2005 at 2:06 pm | | Reply

    I’ve been on the pump for the last 5 years and would recommend it. I have a 1 year old daughter who has started to notice it (and wants to tug at the tubing all the time) so that is a concern.

  2. Kathleen Weaver
    Kathleen Weaver November 21, 2005 at 9:01 pm | | Reply

    If you are interested in pumps, you definately need to join the insulin pumpers group. See http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/ I will warn in advance though that pump wars are far uglier than PC/Mac wars. I think it’s because we’re literally attached to our pumps. (It’s a bad pun but it seems logical).

    I will say though I have never heard any good reports on the Amigo, and they are usually not approved by the FDA. But at least they are not as bad as the Dana pumps.

    I will also say, don’t ever wait around for tomorrow’s technology, especially when you are dealing with your health. Use today’s proven technology and only jump on tomorrow’s if you have too much money on your hands.

    I’ve learned the hard way.

  3. AmyT
    AmyT November 21, 2005 at 10:40 pm | | Reply

    Thanks, Kathleen. I guess I have been waiting on tomorrow’s technology.

  4. cynthia tucker
    cynthia tucker December 5, 2005 at 4:28 am | | Reply

    The sidekick meter is a fantastic choice for people with no insurance or who don’t need all the bells and whistles. Lots of people just need their blood sugar results and nothing else. There are plenty of people who do not have medical coverage for their diabetes supplies. Calling the meter a “cutesy” meter gives people the impression that it is a toy and not something of value. Also, your diabetes healthcare team can help you by suggesting meters that would be good choices for you and even supplementing you by giving you an extra meter for work, school etc. Strips are another story as they are hard to get samples of. That is when an educator can advise you on a meter, especially one that could easily use one bottle of strips for two meters. The main thing is to test.

  5. AmyT
    AmyT December 5, 2005 at 11:04 am | | Reply

    Cynthia,
    Good point on the people with no insurance.

    “Cutsey” referred to the product NAME, “Sidekick.” I stand by that one.

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