Diabetes Testing

A New Meter with Something for All of Us

Credit: LifeScan Inc.

Here is a new blood glucose meter that is quick and easy for everyone to use. But it also offers personalized connectivity without wires in a small package that promises to be accurate and precise.

LifeScan just introduced its OneTouch Verio Flex blood glucose meter. I learned a lot about it in a pre-announcement press briefing and received one of these exciting new meters for testing. While my experience with it is limited, I think it will give any of us who have health insurance almost everything that we dream of for our meters.

Some of us want nothing more than speed in a meter. At the other extreme, there are people like me who demand that a meter’s results are correct and want to sync our readings automatically to our smart phones. The Verio Flex offers this and more, including the ability to separate out our pre- and post-meal blood glucose readings so that we can easily track our levels.

Taking the Middle Ground

A few years ago the best meters competed to provide the most bells and whistles. Now that Medicare caps prices more tightly, our blood glucose meters have generally become a commodity where low price is everything. With the Verio Flex, however, LifeScan has successfully charted the middle ground.

One imaginative thing that is especially valuable for beginning meter users is its color coding. This automatically shows if your level is too low (blue), in range (green), or too high (red).

Emphasis on Accuracy

I am also impressed with LifeScan’s emphasis on accuracy, something that I haven’t noticed before from the companies that make our meters. In yesterday’s press briefing they showed us a slide reporting that they had conducted a clinical study of 167 results. Here the system’s accuracy exceeded the highest ISO standards with “100 percent of results within Zone A of the Consensus Error Grid.”

Another slide in the press briefing shows the results of a study that 89 percent of us look for accuracy when we choose a meter, 81 percent of us want ease of use, and 72 percent of us want the meter to be covered by insurance. The Verio Flex covers all of these bases.

Expensive Test Strips, Inexpensive Meter

And it’s a good thing for us that most health plans provide the test strips that the Verio Flex uses at the lowest co-pay and that Medicare always covers them. Otherwise, these Verio test strips are expensive. A box of 100 OneTouch Verio test strips without insurance sells for $159.99.

These test strips require only 0.4µl of blood. Only Abbott’s FreeStyle Lite, FreeStyle Freedom Lite, and FreeStyle InsuLinx use a tiny bit less. I do wish, however, that the Verio test strips were bigger, which would make them easier for people with limited dexterity to handle.

LifeScan says that it will sell the Verio Flex meter itself for about $20, and that it is already shipping the meter to retailers. This new meter uses the same test strips that the Verio and Verio IQ meters use. But the company is discontinuing the Verio Sync meter, which it introduced only two years ago.

LifeScan is the market leader in the United States, although Roche’s Accu-Chek brand has the lion’s share of the world market. Until recently, some of us have been turning away from LifeScan’s blood glucose meters. But with the introduction of this versatile meter, LifeScan is back at the top of its game.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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5 Comments

  • Reply John March 11, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Here is what I found that I guess came from the FDA test which shows less accuracy when people used the product rather then just controlled test that the FDA did.

    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf15/K150214.pdf

    • Reply David Mendosa March 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

      The FDA document that you link is a typical letter of approval for a manufacturer to market a new product, John. It is not an FTA test.

  • Reply John March 11, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I personally do not like this meter at all. It does not allow you to put down before or after meal. You can once you sync it to your phone but then you almost have to sync it enough to remember what the reading was for. If you test it they say you have to use the up or down arrow to mark it with a C which I have never been able to work while the IQ of the Verio line knows it is a controlled test and puts this in automatically. I tested the flex meter 2 hours after a meal and got the reading of 140 and on the IQ meter got a reading of 149. I do not know if any of these are correct at all. If I still had good test strips for the Ultra 2 I would test that as well. I know for my mother she tested the flex one day and got a reading of 69 but did not feel like she was low blood sugar. She tested on the IQ and it gave her a reading of 83. That morning she was closer to the 83 reading then the 69 readings. I would not put any hope in the OneTouch line and would not use them if my insurance offered me another option.

  • Reply VFAMS April 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I wonder if this meter will be truly accurate. I was given a Verio meter recently (as a replacement from my provider) as I thought my previous meter was reading low. I was using the OneTouch Ultra 2 meter from the same manufacturer. I thought it was giving incorrect numbers due to an elevated a1C. But, turns out I had lost control of my BGs and was running high.

    I started using the Verio but it was reading 20-30 points higher than my Ultra2. I could not believe it was right as I WAS NEVER that high. So I went and bought a new ultra2 meter (since I still had the strips) and it delivered lower results by 20-40 points lower than the Verio. I tested comparatively between the two (and even bought a bayer one) for a week and found the Verio to be consistently higher than any other meter.

    The only thing I have not yet done is to get a random lab BG test and test with the 3 meters to see how close they are. I have done it with the Ultra2 in the past and it was pretty accurate.

    Bottom line is that I do not believe that I can trust the Verio meter at all. So now I have gone back to the Ultra2 as my meter now.

    What makes you so sure that this new Verio Flex is accurate? It uses the same strips as the other Verio. Also I recall reading that the other Verio did not perform well in other independent tests.

    Is this new Verio Flex included in that German test you wrote about?

    At $20 I might me willing to get one just to see what the results are since I still have a bunch of Verio strips, but then again it might be a waste of $20.

    What do you think David?

    • Reply David Mendosa April 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      This meter is too new to have been tested for its accuracy by independent reserchers.

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