AADE Meter News: No Coding (+ Anticipating Navigator)

The theme among glucose meter vendors at this year’s AADE Expo was clear: all the banners read “no coding.” Wow, you mean like I don’t have to worry about syncing up the code number on the monitor and the test strip vial every time I start a new batch? Neat.

Not that matching up the codes is such a big problem for most of us “plugged-in” types. But I understand a lot of people who test less often forget to check the coding at all, therefore throwing off their BG results significantly (by up to 43%, according to Bayer). “It’s great for older patients!” the vendors told me enthusiastically.

Check out the latest in “no coding” models:
* Abbott’s FreeStyle Lite – the newest edition of compact FreeStyle meters with rubber-grip sides and a high-contrast, big-number screen display for easy viewing. Also requires the world’s smallest blood sample size, 0.3 microliter. (I told the gals above I hoped Abbott was paying them well :)

* The new Jazz meter from AgaMatrix (not yet shown on their site) – also featuring a large easy-to-read back-lit display. The cool thing about the Jazz is a second, wireless version coming out soon that will allow you to download your BG data to the company’s ZeroClick software using BlueTooth technology. Now that IS zero-click!

* Bayer Contour & Breeze meters – the latter features a test strip disc that allows for 10 tests, so you never even have to handle test strips individually. This is an appealing concept, except for the cost factor.

Which brings me to the rub: because these meters are “codeless,” they require all-new sets of proprietary test strips. You can’t even use the regular FreeStyle test strips you already own with the Lite, for example, or the Keynote test strips with the Jazz meter. Ugh. So if coding doesn’t bother you, I’d recommend sticking with your current meter at least long enough to use up all those strips you’ve already paid for.

And btw, you didn’t miss it: despite rumors, nothing was announced at the AADE meeting last week regarding the long-awaited Abbott Navigator continuous glucose monitor. This CGM system has been held up by the FDA for what seems like ages. The company tells me that “the last piece of data required by the FDA has now been submitted.” And the mind ponders on what that could be.

There were at least a half-dozen talks on CGM systems, including a captivating session in which Dr. Bruce Bode and Phil Southerland of TeamType1 showcased their study of Navigator use during extreme exercise. In fact, Navigator seemed to appear alongside the DexCom and MiniMed Guardian in most talks as if it were already a patient option. Everybody seems to believe it won’t be long now…


11 Responses

  1. Jenny
    Jenny August 6, 2007 at 11:16 am | | Reply

    Wouldn’t it be nice if they improved the accuracy of the meters rather than other features?

    And figured out a way to make the strips more affordable. They’re about 40% MORE expensive than when I started testing 9 years ago.

  2. Kassie
    Kassie August 6, 2007 at 11:59 am | | Reply

    I love the no-coding life, even as a frequent tester. I hate remembering the steps to code a meter, or even remembering to do it at all (usually I’d realize a few strips into a new vial that I had to check the number). The accuracy is important but I love the one-less-step-in-my-freakin’-day-with-diabetes aspect. And now that the Contour is only a 5 second, I’m thrilled :)

    Bayer’s Contour has used the same strips all along. I love those strips. I almost never waste them when trying to get blood on the test part with shaky low hands.

    (yes, I’m still a spokesperson for Bayer)

  3. lauraw
    lauraw August 6, 2007 at 4:31 pm | | Reply

    The problem I have with the breeze meter is that once you pop out that strip, you have a time limit to use it. If the phone rings or you get called to another room and the meter turns off while you’re away, all you can do is throw out the strip. With my contour, I just pull it out and put it in again.

    It only happened once or twice but I hate throwing out test strips so it’s a real deal breaker for me. No idea if the new breeze 2 is any different.

  4. Lauren
    Lauren August 6, 2007 at 7:12 pm | | Reply

    I’m a Freestyler because of the small sample size. I’m all for not having to lop off half my fingertip whenever I test. Coding is not a big deal to me, but thank God I can see clearly and usually remember to check the code when I open a new vial. In the world of glucometer advancements, I would love to see greater accuracy, even smaller sample size, and less costly strips.

    When I first saw the Freestyle strips I naively assumed that the dots on either side of the strip meant that it could be used twice. Nope. I wish they could create a strip like that, where the each half is independent, and you could test pre-meal glucose with one side and post-prandial with the other. I’m sure that’s a dumb idea for many reasons I haven’t thought of, but it would be nice not to go through strips like there’s no tomorrow. I test so often that the pile of empty vials in my house is probably equivalent to the price of a new Prius.

  5. mcityrk
    mcityrk August 7, 2007 at 1:23 am | | Reply


    As to your commentary:
    “In fact, Navigator seemed to appear alongside the DexCom and MiniMed Guardian in most talks as if it were already a patient option. Everybody seems to believe it won’t be long now…”

    Not sure that positive belief is shared among all who track diabetes product introductions. In fact, many are so down on the timing of the Navigator approval and introduction that contests are whimsically cropping up [such as among DI newsletter subscribers] to “name the date of FDA Navigator approval” with Abbott insiders guesstimates being accepted as well since they do not seem to have any idea when the approval will occur either!!


  6. Kerri.
    Kerri. August 7, 2007 at 5:50 am | | Reply

    Amy – I snagged a photo of Agamatrix’s Jazz meter and posted it on my site. It’s much, much smaller and more streamlined than the original Keynote, as I’m sure you noticed!

    It was nice seeing you at the conference. :)

  7. S. June
    S. June August 11, 2007 at 6:49 pm | | Reply

    I can hardly wait for the Navigator to come out! I read about it either last summer or the summer before in a newsletter published by the Children’s Diabetes Foundation in Denver, CO. Seems they were given some to test on kids, and the kids (and their parents) just loved the Navigator. I use the OmniPod now, and I’m praying that since Abbott owns the FreeStyle meters, and since the PDM for the OmniPod integrates a FreeStyle meter, we OmniPod users will be the first to get the Navigator. I sure hope so!

  8. Mark Summers
    Mark Summers August 25, 2007 at 3:02 pm | | Reply

    Does anyone know when Abbott plans to start selling the Navigator in Europe, now that its been approved there?

    Are there any detailed photos of the Navigator? The one on Abbott’s product page doesn’t really show what it looks like, the size of the comoponents, etc.


  9. Allison
    Allison September 4, 2007 at 9:04 am | | Reply


    Great point about accuracy and cost, Luckily WaveSense-enabled products are extremely accurate and very affordable. I invite all your readers to take a look at the data on our website (www.wavesense.info/data). oh, BTW the strips are also a great value, a box of 100 retails for $52.99.


    Community Outreach

    AgaMatrix, Inc.


  10. kristen
    kristen October 11, 2007 at 12:21 pm | | Reply

    I have obtained spurious results from the Freestyle lite meter (no coded new version). I had a blood sugar of 269 at 12:00 pm. At 1:00 pm my reading was 123. At 1:20 pm, my reading was 435 (second test showed 385). I did not have any food or take insulin around the 123 reading. This is the second time this has happened with this meter. Has anyone else seen spurious readings like this?

  11. Kyle
    Kyle January 31, 2008 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    Does anyone know where I can purchase a “wireless jazz” monitor? I’ve been looking for one outside the US. I don’t think its on sale anywhere in the world yet huh?

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