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Viva Aviva!

By David Mendosa

Last Update: February 14, 2007

Any new blood glucose meter is news. But when Roche Diagnostics introduces a new Accu-Chek meter, it is especially big.

A dozen companies market blood glucose meters in the U.S., but Accu-Chek is number one in sales both in the U.S. and worldwide. This was also one of the first brands of blood glucose meters. The Accu-Check bG came out in 1982.

Roche Diagnostics now sells four Accu-Chek meters here — the Active, Advantage, Compact, and Complete. Soon there will be five.

In May the Food and Drug Administration approved a meter that Roche Diagnostics calls the Accu-Chek Aviva. The company says that this new meter will have a suggested retail price of $65 to $75 and will be available in either August or September.

Roche Diagnostics, however, provided me with one that I could review. What I like best about it is its precision, small blood sample size, and speed.

In the interest of this review I checked my blood many times to compare the Accu-Chek Aviva with the TheraSense FreeStyle Flash, which is one of the meters that is recognized for its precision. These tests convinced me that the Accu-Chek Aviva is equally precise.

Like the TheraSense FreeStyle Flash, the Accu-Chek Aviva gives reliable results in five seconds. The Accu-Chek Aviva also needs one of the smallest blood samples of any meter, just 0.6 microliters.

This small sample size means you aren’t limited to testing on your fingers. You can use less painful alternative sites — your forearm, upper arm, calf, or thigh.

These are the key features in judging blood glucose meters. Other important features of this meter are its ability to work with Accu-Chek’s Compass diabetes management software, its up to four daily programmable acoustic test reminders, and hypoglycemia threshold warnings that you can set from 60 to 80 mg/dl (3.3 and 4.4 mmol/l).

Roche Diagnostics says that the Accu-Chek Aviva has an ergonomic design. More simply, I would say that it just feels good and solid in the hand.

The new strips that the Accu-Chek Aviva uses are large and easy to handle. They have a large dosing area that make it easy to see where to apply the blood sample.

Finally, a pleasant surprise were three words written on the back of the meter: “Made in USA.”

Long live the Aviva!

Sidebar: Multiclix Lancing

Roche Diagnostics packages the Accu-Chek Aviva with something equally new called the Multiclix. This is a lancet device integrated with a drum of six 30-guage lancets. It gives you a choice of 11 different depth settings.

This is not the company’s first drum. The Accu-Chek Compact uses a drum so you don’t have to handle its test strips. But handling lancets is more challenging and likely to be even more appreciated.

The Accu-Chek Multiclix is surprising small and little bigger that the Accu-Chek Softclix lancet device. Roche Diagnostics plans to sell the Accu-Chek Multiclix separately for use with any meter. 

This article originally appeared in Diabetes Health, August 2005. The manufacturer’s website is

David Mendosa is a freelance journalist and consultant specializing in diabetes and lives in Boulder, Colorado. When he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in February 1994, he began to write entirely about that condition. His articles and columns have appeared in many of the major diabetes magazines and websites. His own website, David Mendosa’s Diabetes Directory, established in 1995, was one of the first and is now one of the largest with that focus. Every month he also publishes an online newsletter called “Diabetes Update.” He is a co-author of What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up...And Down? (New York: Marlowe & Co., August 2003).

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