There are a handful of companies that have become household names for us PWDs: the leaders in meters, pumps, and insulin itself. You know which companies I mean. And then there lots of smaller, innovative companies successfully lurking — names you simply don’t hear very much until they hit the Big Time with a breakthrough product and/or get acquired by one of the Household Names. Seems to me like AgaMatrix is one of those lurkers.
AgaMatrix is a six-year-old startup headquartered in Salem, NH. For at least several years now, it’s been pushing DTC (direct-to-consumer) marketing of its blood glucose meter products, based on its proprietary WaveSense™ platform — which uses “biosensor and dynamic electrochemistry technologies to enable high-accuracy glucose sensing.”
What this means to you and me is that the technology performs a kind of biological filtering to make the signal cleaner. According to the tech authorities, current glucose meters use a biosensor to take a blood sample, and then run a series of biochemical tests to filter out other material like Vitamin C that might give a false reading. AgaMatrix replaces those biochemical processes with a digital signal processor (DSP) that manipulates the biosensor directly, to “automatically discard any pollutants and focus solely on the glucose.” So it’s all about high-accuracy — a good thing for those of us exasperated by inconsistent (and ever-suspect) meter readings.
I met someone from AgaMatrix at the annual ADA Conference last year, and somehow got on their media list, it seems. I’ve received a few surprise packages with sample meters, and even a copy of their new, (tantalizingly named) Zero-Click™ software. A little about the products:
* The new Keynote meter is cute, cute, cute — and quite pleasant to use. (I now realize that a Liberty Medical meter I received a while back was an early, branded version). It’s a little rectangle with easy-grip rubber sides and a big, clear screen. The meter itself is just a tad bigger than Abbott’s FreeStyle Flash, but the whole package — case with meter, lancing device and strips — is SMALLER, by at least a half-inch. And we all know every half-inch counts I’ve actually been using this meter during bike training, ’cause it fits so nicely in my little bicycle seat bag. And I just luuv this lancing device, which looks like a longer, skinnier version of the FreeStyle model but has an even tinier needle and seems* to require even less blood. Can you believe?
[*In actuality, the FreeStyle boasts just 0.3 ml versus 0.5 ml for the Keynote, but the Keynote has excellent blood pick-up, if you know what I mean. Gads, who ever thought I'd become an expert on such things? Gross.]
* Their Zero-Click Software, approved by the FDA last fall, supposedly enables effortless download of your glucose meter data “via a USB-style connection.” To be honest, mine’s still sitting in the box, and as I write this, I’m wondering what “USB-style” means and why they didn’t just use a USB connection, which was created to do away with all the proprietary PC cable connectors in the first place, ay?
Anyway, the software seems pretty neat. It can be operated in two modes: home user mode, which is the no-brainer option for “self-testers,” and a professional mode designed for more advanced users and multi-patient support by health care providers.
The Daily Digest feature seems to offer a nice, clean view of your results, complete with pretty pie graphs and everything. And the proprietary Virtual Meter™ technology looks even better: it allows you to quickly and easily update numerous meter settings directly from your computer, with no need to navigate a bunch of confusing menus on the meter itself. Someone at AgaMatrix was using their Noggin’, I’m telling you, ’cause how many times have you wasted half an hour reading through your meter manual just to make some simple setting change?
Zero-Click supposedly lives up to its name, btw: you plug in the cord and it automatically identifies the meter, launches the software, dowloads your glucose results, and instantly displays your charts. Can’t wait to see that! Now if AgaMatrix can just get their system to automatically re-adjust your blood glucose whenever it’s out of range (no clicks necessary!), I’m sure they’ll be a Household Name by summer.
*** UPDATE 2: The AgaMatrix folks have sent me the following info:
Keynote is available at many independent pharmacies. We are continuously building our national presence. You can also order WaveSense products at (866) 906-4197 (AgaMatrix customer service). Below is the MSRP for the WaveSense(tm) Keynote Products:
50 ct Strip Box – $28
100 ct Strip Box – $50