I most commonly recommend the One Touch products made by Lifescan, Freestyle meters made by Abbott, and Contour meters made by Bayer. (I am not sure if the brand names are the same in the UK.) I am not fond of the Accu-check products. While they are reliable and covered by many insurance plans here in the US, they appear complicated for many people to use.
I disagree Ronda. Although there is one or two out there that are difficult to use, not all of them are all that difficult from the others you mentioned. The Accu-Chek Aviva (the latest meter) is very easy to use. I, unfortunately for me, no longer use it because it is no longer covered by Medicare & Medicaid.
The one thing I really liked about Accu-Chek meters is that you can connect them to your computer and all of the data is immediately downloaded. You have graphs/tables/journals and other items that can make your life a lot easier when it comes to relaying information to your doctor. You can even give the computer program to your doctor to use on his system as the program is available to place on two systems. That way you and your doctor can just hook-up, download, and view.
I use a OneTouch UltraSmart by LifeScan. It's simple to use and allows me to get average blood glucose levels over the last 30, 60, 90 days, etc. I can link it to my PC if I want and can also enter insulin, exercise and food intake (i'm not organised enough to do this though).
I'm a computer professional and a confirmed geek so I find all gadgets easy to use :-) so your mileage may vary
Currently, I am using the new Bayer Contour meter with a Medtronic insulin pump. With the pump, you only need to calibrate it with finger prick testing 2 times a day (if you also have a glucose sensor / transmitter). What a treat compared to the 10 or more times I had to finger test before getting on this treatment for type1 diabetes. And being active, it really helps to have an accurate idea of blood glucose and trends which are updated every 5 mins on the pump.
Did you have to pay for your pump? What was you HbA1c before the pump and have you had one since? I'm quite active myself and find it frustrating that I have to plan my insulin regime around what I'm going to be doing. It's a bit hard to be spontaneous and jump on the bikes after breakfast if I've taken my full dose of insulin because I'll end up being a bit low.
Sorry for the all questions, just interested in how you find the pump.
i use the accu-chek aviva, i find it very easy to use, it gives very quick results and is nice and compact. it was actually sent to me by accu-chek when it was first released, i now have three, one at home, one in car and one in my machine at work. i personally cant fault accu-chek or its products.
I'v always used the Accu-check Advantage. I have no problem with it and Im happy with it. It holds all the readings in memory which is helpful. This was the first one I received and it works for me. Its compact and easy to use.
Whilst I have trust and belief in the medical profession I am often concerned about the behavior and motives of the pharmaceutical companies.
I have heared people describe the drug companies as being like “violins” as they are sometimes a “bit of a fiddle.” A recent article published in the New York Times confirmed that the Blood Glucose Meters used for home testing by patients with diabetes (this means most of the members of our community) may lack accuracy by as much as 20%.
1) Do the Meter manufactures put as much effort into the technical excellence of their products as they to into the marketing?
In my opinion, I think it's like a barrel of apples, there are some bad ones and some good ones. Like anything else, a few bad ones can spoil the barrel. I believe that the most accurate monitors on the market today are from Accu-Chek and Lifescan. These are the Accu-Chek and OneTouch meters. I have actually tested them against Lab reports and their accuracy was no more then 7-10 points off against the labs BG levels. If you ask me, that seems pretty damb accurate, compared to what the NY Times said.