In October, Ascensia (formerly Bayer) launched its newest blood glucose meter and integrated app-The CONTOUR®NEXT ONE meter and the CONTOUR®DIABETES app. You can find out more about the specifics of this new meter and app here.
Thriveabetes was asked if we would share information about this new product with our followers and subscribers. I was really interested in this meter, I asked if I could have a meter sent to me. Both the meter and the app are free for everybody and the meter had already been launched in Ireland (details of how to get it at the end of this post).
Once I received the Contour Next One meter and I downloaded the app from the Apple App store. I volunteered to do the blog post review and have not received any payment of any kind to do this. I have tried to give an unbiased review but I feel that maybe I’m a little spoilt when it comes to the diabetes devices. I would like to re-enforce that my opinion is just one opinion. What works for me is not going to work for every person with diabetes.
In writing this post I realised that checking my blood glucose on a meter alone isn’t enough for me. That I really do appreciate an app that allows me to input the information associated with that blood glucose reading. I need to include if this reading is before or after a meal, if I am using this reading to calculate insulin dosage, how much carb I’m about to eat, physical activity, etc. I have been using the MySugr App to log my blood glucose readings for almost two years and I love it.
This meter is one of the few existing blood glucose meters that is integrated with a smartphone app. BG results captured throughout the day are automatically synced and logged. It removes the need for uploading to a desktop computer or laptop.
Last week, I listed all the key features of this meter, how it works, how to get it and what devices it works on. Read here.
I also found out that my smart devices are all “iOld” and not fully compatible with the App but I could still use it effectively and I’ve taken that into consideration in my review.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This meter sends your blood glucose reading straight to the app, via bluetooth, which can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet or computer. This meter & app is ideal for parents of a child who has type 1 diabetes because you can have multiple users of the App. If your child has an SNA at school who is helping him/her with her blood glucose checking and has the app on their phone, the parent at home has access to the same information on the app on their phone, tablet or desktop.
My first impression of the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE was how compact it is and could easily fit in a jeans pocket.
It was easy to perform a blood glucose check. To be honest, if you have to consult a user guide to do this then the meter is an epic fail! So, phew on this one:-)
I really like that I could chose to turn off the features that unsettled me such as the beeps (sound effects). It’s comforting in a room full of people with diabetes to hear the beeps but not when you are not in a room full of people who do not have diabetes.
It’s extremely easy to add additional information to your blood glucose readings.
The extended graph, accessible by turning your phone sideways does provide you with useful information that may improve your diabetes management.
The App has the basics of a really useful App.
THE “TO BE IMPROVED”
The lancet device is an exercise in cruelty, even at it’s lowest setting and changing the lancet each time. I stuck with it for 4 days and my fingers were in such pain that I went back to my old lancet device from my previous meter.
I had to consult the user booklet several times to figure out some of the bells and whistles, such as the meal tagging, how to switch off the coloured lights and the sounds, how to see the extended graph.
Traffic light reading; I can see why some people might like this but not me. I’m not a big fan of having each blood glucose result graded by like this. This feature is on the MySugr app, but it tells you how you did for the day and not per reading. So after a couple of checks I turned this feature off.
The extended graph on my phone was not easy to interpret. It was lots of coloured dots that told me what my average blood glucose reading was for that time of day. But this is not as good as having the percentage of time I was above or below my target range. So this app did not help me improve my diabetes management.
The app only allows you to enter insulin in half unit increments and as a pump user this wasn’t much use to me. I would need to be able to input .05 units of insulin.
The screen can sometimes be difficult to read.
Medtronic Insulin Pump users will be disappointed to know that this meter, for the moment, does not sync to the pump.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION
So my impression is that I would definitely use this meter for it’s accuracy and it’s convenience. But I won’t be using this meter right now because I am tied to the Animas Insulin Pump software; Diasend which allows me to upload my pump, my current meters, because they’re made by the same company, and my dexcom cgm.
The app, in my opinion, is a good start, but as I’m using a well-established app, I found the Contour Diabetes App user interface needs more development.
I look forward to the day that this app syncs with whatever meter I like to use, or a meter company comes up with an app that is equal to the one that I currently use (because it’s really good and easy to use).
I’m extremely optimistic that meter companies are realising that this is what people with diabetes have been asking for and are taking steps to achieve it.
HOW TO GET IT?
The Contour Next One is available through their website: https://www.contournextone.ie/free-meter/
Or by telephoning 1 890 920 111 (Mon-Fri, 9:00am-5:00pm).