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[IP] meters

hullo!  sue...here's one person's view on fast take...i compare to both the
one-touch and dex and give some other thoughts on other meters at the end.  


*	fast!  15 seconds!  and it isn't the 20 seconds PLUS ~3-4 seconds
that the medisense takes to get going, it's a true 15.  i know that even
those of us (most of us i think!) who test upwards of 8 times per day, this
is only another ~30 seconds saved per day in case of medisense, but it's a
flippin' 4 minutes improvement on the one-touch!  none of my friends
understand why this is a big deal ("45 seconds seems fast to me") but i
trust that i'm not alone in the view that it sometimes seems an eternity.
the dex takes 30 seconds, so is in the middle.  

*	little!  this is tiny and very easy to carry around.  nice
ergonomics.  actually, i carry the dex in an extra fast-take pouch--the dex
bag is way too big in my view, but this is easily fix-able

*	less painful:  actually, the less pain comes more from the
lancet-device i use--which is the dex device!  since you only need tiny spot
of blood with both fast-take AND dex, that also lessens the degree of
pressure one needs to use when "lancing."  the penlet that comes with the
fast-take is, as many of said here, too big and hurts too much, relatively
speaking, but the penlet device that goes with the dex, which is called the
microlet is awesome. i recommend for whatever meter you use!  for the
fast-take, it also fits in the little pouch better than the penlet and
again, i really notice the difference in pain.   

*	memory: since i was mostly using the medisense device that had no
memory, the fast-take is better, but one big drawback is that, as many here
have noted, it has no software as of yet.  it does have a good memory, with
time/date stamp...150 readings, i believe.  can't remember what dex has on
this count, but i think it's just as good and probably better.

*	fewer strips wasted compared to one-touch!: one thing i strongly
disliked on one-touch was the number of strips i wasted.  maybe i just
wasn't careful, but it seemed like every 10 tests or so, i would put in drop
of blood and then be instructed to clean the meter (even when i had wiped it
w/swab when blood spilled over)...or would get some other error.  so far, i
haven't experienced this problem with fast-take.  you don't need to worry
about getting blood on the meter, because you're putting it on the strip on
the end of meter, not in the middle. i love that part, but that is an
advantage w/every other meter too, except one-touch.   

DRAWBACKS on fast-take:

*	 size: for some with eye problems, the little spot where you need to
put blood might be too tiny

*	no software: see above--company says it's coming out "shortly" but
doesn't seem to be sure when.

*	fast-take accuracy: unfortunately, i don't have data here.
certainly, what amy indicated is scary--i haven't experienced that yet. if
this isn't as accurate as other meters, that's a big problem, i just haven't
experienced it.  i would like to take both meters to hospital and check
against lab sometime...has anyone done this?

*	dex: i got my dex at the ADA, which i went to for work; a very nice
sales rep gave me a leftover.  one thing is that i'm not sure when it is
coming out; it has had several delays and i don't think it is commercially
available yet (but the microlet probably is!)  i may be wrong here, so check
on this.  also, had heard that accuracy had been the issue...but you never
know.   oh yeah, one other big difference is the strips on dex, which to me,
are neat!  it's hard to explain if you haven't seen it, but the ten strips
are stored in meter, so there is no fumbling around putting strips in, etc.
it's all one unit for ten times, then you refill the meter (easy). BOTH
methods are improvements, big-time, on one-touch.  w/medisense, i liked the
strips wrapped in foil too, it just depends on your preference.  for some,
the "all-in-one" is great.others could tell you more who have been testing
w/it longer.

*	other meters:  minimed just sent me the complete, which i haven't
used yet--have heard it's good, but at first glance, for me, size and speed
are most important, and it loses on those counts.   then again, info mgmt is
supposed to be extremely good, so whatever suits you!  medisense will be
releasing new set of meters in early 1999, and info. mgmt is supposed to be
a big advantage, so we'll see.  finally, a little company called selfcare
(who actually makes the fast-take for lifescan) is said to be coming out
with a generic test strip that will fit the old exac-tech...not sure how
much cheaper the strips will be, but esp. if your insurance is tight-fisted,
this is another option to look forward to, though initially at least (and
maybe always?), strips won't be for the highest-tech meters.  finally, the
continuous glucose monitor by minimed is on the horizon for 1999, but as we
have heard from our friends here, this won't be used by types like us 'til
the next version AFTER this one comes out (2000?).  but still!  how great it
could be to just look at your pump and see your glucose level!  someday!
(2002?)  this version, note, is even further away, but it does sound great.
even the separate glucose monitor is something i'm anxious to hear more

whew!  sorry to make everyone read so much.  obviously, this decision is
hugely personal, but just wanted to offer some impressions from one user.
anyway, all the reading here is excellent, i've been learning a lot.  have
been "live" on pump for one week, and can't believe how free i feel!  still
working out the rates, but one day at a time. take care.
mailto:email @ redacted
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/