October 27, 2009

Bayer Contour USB: First Look

The good folks at Bayer sent me a Contour USB. Here's a quick look.

(See the Update Here)

Bernard my friend, you will be impressed.

Bernard and I have "issues" with proprietary cables. Your Diabetes May Vary, your meter cables don't need to but they do. Except for this one - check it out - no cable. Standard USB plug built in.

Wait, wait, before I say anymore - the full disclosure: When Bayer announced this thing a few weeks ago, I thought it looked cool. So I call to asked about it. They were kind enough to send me one to test out. Wohoo!

No conditions on their part.
No promise other than to try it out on my part.

The full review will have to wait for some more actual use. I'm going to give it to the teen T1 and he'll do most of the BG tests and contribute to the comments. Unill he sheds some blood for the cause - here is the initial out of box experience.

Nice packaging and not too much of it. The meter is behind a little plastic bit. There is a sticker on the screen. BG at 93. Well at least it isn't 104 and some of the documentation shows the meter at a whopping 127 - LOL.

For those of you who have had little girls in you life you will be happy to hear there is no Barbie packaging. Barbie is lashed into her packaging by some freak with a bondage fetish and a heck of a lot of wire. The meter pops right out unencumbered by fasteners.

The Contour USB has rechargeable batteries. That is a first in my experience. It is real clear when you open the box you should charge the thing. The box flap says, "HELLO! - Charge me," or something there about.

USB - figuring out how to charge it isn't rocket science. Find an open USB port or use the charge in the box.

So far the out of box experience is a whole different class than your average crammed in folded cardboard for stable shipping packaging. Nice. Not clinically significant in any way but it is a clear expression of how they feel about their product and how they want you to feel about it.

You get one first impression. Score one for Bayer. Let see what else is in the box.

  • Meter
  • Charger
  • USB extension cable
  • Strips
  • Bulky Bayer lancing device
  • Lots of documentation
  • Quick Start guide in case you don't want to read the above mentioned documentation.
  • Paper logbook (as if)
  • Web Registration card
  • Wicked Cool Colored Lancets.

I didn't think Lancets could be cool.

I was wrong.

Colored lancets are cool. Don't take my word for it. Delaney spoke for the 'tweens of the world definitively claiming all the pink ones. The Tuesday Little Dude, speaking for the 4 year old PWD community, was also psyched choosing purple then blue for his 7:00 check. He was grabbing at them like they were Halloween candy when mom came to pick him up an hour later. Oh TLD you have no idea how much you amuse me.

Apparently Lancets can be cool. Who knew?

Having no actual experience with the meter we seized the moment and had TLD test drive the meter for his 7:00 check in. Both he and Mrs. YMDV made all kinds of happy sounds at the color screen. OK was new toy syndrome but what the heck! This is a first impressions bit and so far this thing is making friends with flashy first impressions.

As you can see the meter isn't large. Just a little bigger than a USB memory stick.

I lined it up against the usual suspects. A little smaller than a One Touch Ultra Mini. Longer but skinnier than a Jazz.

It is significantly smaller than the Ping meter that came with Connor's pump. (I noticed taking this picture he hadn't even bothered putting batteries in it.) I didn't put it in it's case but the case seems bigger than it needs to be and not gray as cool as the Jazz cases.

I did notice two things worth mentioning before I call it a day. The documentation I didn't read says the software runs on a Mac and while the box was about the size of a CD but look up there at that picture - there wasn't a software disk in the box.

D'OH! It is a USB stick!