Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Update: My review of the Performa Meter

Now that I've had the Performa for a couple of weeks I thought I'd add a little review here, especially for the kiwi readers who are still waiting for their new Accu-chek Performa BG meter to land on their doorsteps.

By the way, Kiwis: Do you know about this? Have you signed up with Accu-chek? Do they have the right address for you? This is a free meter upgrade and one well worth having.

First off, this thing is FAST. Any time I use my old meter now I get SO impatient!

It's easy - it's just like the last one: stick a strip in, prick, bleed, wait. Even easier, in fact, because you only need a tiny drop of blood and you put it on the bottom of the strip, not the side, so it doesn't matter which hand you're using - no need to hold the meter sideways while doing a balancing act.

The multiclix Lancer is brilliant. A little chunkier than we're used to, but totally worth it. The button could be raised a little more - it seems too 'flat' and harder to find when going by feel. Nonetheless, it's genuinely soft & gentle, I barely feel a thing. You can probably have it on a lower setting than the old pricker, simply because you need less blood. The drums are only a little more expensive and well worthwhile.

NOTE: If you haven't read here already, the Performa meter measures in blood plasma, not whole blood like previous meters. This is apparently what's being used around the world these days as it matches more fairly with lab tests. You will read every so slightly (10 - 12%) higher, but the higher numbers are ok once you get used to them. In fact, for me it seems to make control easier - everything makes more sense now and seems to match how I feel most of the time. (Read what the Joslin Diabetes Centre (American) has to say about it)

The accu-chek Performa is now on the accu-check NZ website, along with a video on how to use it, check it out if you don't mind the voice that talks down to us, and the American accent (could they not make a more kiwi suited one? Maybe I will! 'Stab ya finger there-ish. Squish it. Get a blob. Righto. 5,4,3,2,1... sweeeeeet, she'll be right, mate!')

All in all, I think this meter is wonderful. I do wish they made a bigger deal about the fact that it measures blood plasma though - there are people around the country making dosing decisions based on the results from this meter. What if they unknowingly dose too much? The difference in readings should only be tiny, but when there already other reasons for variations in numbers this can make a big difference. Although I now admit the new meter reads more accurately (according to my own feelings), it could still be a danger to anyone who isn't warned about it.

Happy finger pricking, everyone!

[Edited a longggg time later: I notice that people are finding this blog post with a google search for the Performa Meter... I should point out that after using the meter for a while I was definitely NOT so impressed with it. Now that Accu-chek have fixed the dud strip issue it should be better, but I will never know as I traded mine in for an Optium Xceed, which I am quite happy with. I still use the multi-clix pricker though as it's much nicer to use and doesn't hurt much at all. Just thought I should let people know in case my little blog post was helping people make decisions!]

Update - 26th October 2010: 3 years later! I am now quite happy using a Performa meter alongside my Xceed. All issues were resolved years ago (the early runs of strips for these meters were reading weird, mostly very high) and I'd happily recommend it to anyone.


Anonymous said...

I got to your site through a google search of Accu-check Performa reviews.

I'd like to say thanks for writing this out. But the main reason why I'm writing this comment is because I saw at the bottom of the post that you made an update on the product after a long time informing the readers of your latest findings. Something I thought was very nice.

I have two suggestions:

1. Explain what this dud strip issue is. A brief google (accu-chek did not give me any information.

2. Maybe you should highlight the updated paragraph in bold. I almost missed it myself.

..M.. said...

Hi there 'Anon'

I haven't been an active blogger for a while (though coming back here has tempted me to get back into it!) but I have tidied up & updated this post, thanks for your suggestions.

The dud strip issue was short term and mostly hush-hush. The first few lots of strips we had for the Performa meter when it came out in '07 had been somehow done wrong. I really don't know what happened, maybe it was in the calibration strip? Could have been anything but some people were getting crazy high readings. As you can imagine, for us insulin dependent diabetics that can be quite dangerous - the meter says I'm high, I take lots of insulin... ooohh hello ambulance!

Thanks for visiting, your comments are appreciated :)