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[IP] Comparison of Lifescan One Touch Ultra to One Touch Profile

I've used the One Touch Profile for over 6 years. I have been extremely 
satisfied with its performance. It has consistently provided readings that 
confirm how I feel when I'm at extremes -- if I feel high, it measures high 
and vice versa. This is of _critical_ importance, since I can depend on the 
meter to reliably assist me to determine the dosage of appropriate 
treatment -- insulin, food, or activity. I've used other meters (no longer 
marketed) that did not "measure what I felt".(*) So, I'm VERY cautious when 
it comes to changing my blood glucose analyzer.

I was intrigued by the short analysis time and small sample size announced 
for the One Touch Ultra. I decided to purchase one and compare it to the 
Profile. I performed over a hundred simultaneous measurements on the two 
analyzers over several weeks, always using a single lancet site to supply 
blood to the two test strips. (The test results are available in an Excel 
file to anyone that wants to perform additional analyses -- e-mail me 

I found major advantages to the Ultra. I also found some (minor) 
disadvantages. My conclusions follow. I'm now using the Ultra exclusively.

Ultra Advantages (in priority order)

1. The Ultra closely tracks the Profile (linear regression coefficient = 
0.9926, n=132, Ultra = Profile x 0.9234 + 5.90). Note that this does NOT 
mean that either the Profile or the Ultra is as good as a lab test. It 
simply means that a measurement on one will be close to a measurement on 
the other. Results on my Ultra are slightly less than those on my Profile, 
a difference of 10 mg/dl at 200 mg/dl on the Profile and 25 mg/dl at 400 
mg/dl on the Profile. This is what I found on *my* two meters. Your meters 
will NOT necessarily show the same difference.

I have, in fact, two Profile meters. One is the primary day-to-day meter; 
the other is a less-frequently-used (but "trusted") backup. I decided to 
compare the performance of the two Profiles, using a single lancet site to 
supply samples to two test strips. The results were very similar to those 
comparing the Profile to the Ultra. The two Profiles had a linear 
regression coefficient of 0.9972, n = 42, Profile (backup) = Profile 
(primary) x 1.0583 - 4.984. Results on my backup are slightly higher than 
those on my primary, a difference of 7 mg/dl at 200 mg/dl on the primary 
Profile and 18 mg/dl at 400 mg/dl on the primary Profile. The difference 
between my two Profiles is comparable to the difference between my primary 
Profile and my Ultra.

Since the Profile has been very reliable for me, it's reassuring to know 
that the Ultra should provide comparable measurement performance.

2. Ultra analysis time is 5 seconds, a sharp reduction from the Profile 
analysis time of 45 seconds. At 45 seconds per test and 6 tests/day, I wait 
over 1 day/year in front of the Profile for the results. At 5 seconds per 
test, the annual wait is reduced to only 3 hours.

3. The Ultra requires a *much* smaller sample size. Most any lancet 
puncture should now work.

4. The Ultra carrying case has lots of pockets, inside and out.

Ultra Disadvantages (in priority order)

1. For diabetics on MDI, the Ultra cannot record the insulin dose.

2. The Ultra has a memory of 150 tests; the Profile stores 300 tests. At 6 
tests per day, Profile results could be downloaded to the PC monthly, but 
Ultra results will have to be more downloaded more frequently. (Hey, 
Lifescan, memory's pretty cheap. How about capacity for 500 total tests? 
I'd be glad to pay even $10 extra for this feature.)

3. The only way to download Ultra results to the PC is via In Touch 1.3.2 
(or later). The commands to download to the PC over the serial cable 
connection are undocumented. (For the Profile, "dmi" and "dmp" sent to the 
meter's RS-232 port initiates download of glucose+insulin results and 
glucose results, respectively.)

4. Checking results in memory on the Ultra requires an onerous wait through 
the display of the time, 14-day and 30-day averages. It would have been 
better to make such display optional.

5. Sample application via capillary action takes some practice. It's 
particularly difficult to do with a small sample drop in dim light. IOW, 
you have to actually see what you're doing to use the Ultra. ;-)

P.S.: I have absolutely NO connection with Lifescan. I own no shares of 
Johnson & Johnson. I won't get even a single Ultra strip for this testimonial.

(*) Way back in January 1991, I wrote a letter, cc'd to the FDA, about one 
analyser, which I found had measurement discrepancies "large enough to 
interfere with blood sugar control by failing to reveal high blood sugar 
levels requiring the administration of additional insulin."
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