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Re: [IP] More on meters

On  1 May 98 at 1:16, John Neale wrote:

> Last month I was very critical of the Bayer Dex. I said I thought it was
> very inaccurate. Well I've changed my mind and I now quite like it.
> However.....!!!!..... last week I met a doctor friend who has diabetes.
> We had a long long long long chat about "things". Interestingly he
> doesn't use a meter - just uses visual testing strips. He says the
> results are just as accurate and it takes up a lot less space in his
> pocket. I'm inclined to agree. I also used the BM-test strips quite
> happily for years. I grew to know the colors without checking it against
> the chart. Does anyone know why the h*ll we use meters? My theory is
> that the strip companies push it hard since you can then only use THEIR
> strips with THEIR meter. So they've locked you in.

Couple of reasons for the meters - the strips accuracy is enough to 
say high or low, but you cannot do much more than that.  You can get 
a range between 80-180 in one color block and most people cannot 
interpolate between the blocks easily.  When you're trying to do 
trend analysis the meters make it much easier too.  Another big 
reason is processing.  I had a case that I carried my BM strips and 
all the paraphenalia needed to process them.  It included the vial of 
strips, tissues, cotton balls, a stopwatch (remember, 60 seconds, 
then 30 seconds...), one of the early finger-mulchers lancet 
gilloutine devices, and a ziploc bag for all the debris.  The meters 
give more accurate readings and are easier to deal with.  There were 
meters that read the old BM strips too, but I haven't seen one in 
quite a while.  Remember cutting the strips in half to get more tests 
per $?   I remember that the first few months I after I was diagnosed 
we calculated that my testing supplies cost $1.75 per bg test.  My 
current cost is about $0.60 per test - a significant cost reduction 
over 15 years...

As far as using THEIR strips, most of these things are still covered 
by patents and since they won't license other companies to make the 
strips they've got the market.  That's why there are so many 
different companies anyway - all of them want a piece of this market. 
The competition helps keep the prices down and encourages innovations 
and new technologies...

Randall Winchester

* The views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily *
* reflect the official position of my employer.            *
* There's no guarantee on anything said here...
* If I say I understand something completely the only thing
* we can both be assured of is that I must have completely
* misunderstood something. 
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