Recently I wrote about an amazingly compact new glucose meter called the Glucocard, from Japanese manufacturer Arkray. Now it seems that the company is going designer ultra-mini with a tiny new meter that will be the first-ever to feature interchangeable face plates, "so users may personalize the look of their monitoring system." The GLUCOCARD® 01 (as it's inexplicably named; 01 tells us nothing) received final FDA clearance in early February, and will be launched next month.
* requires no coding
* displays results in 7 seconds
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* requires a tiny 0.3 micro liter sample size
* supports alternate site testing and features pre/post meal flags
* test strip bottle has clear bottom to view the number of test strips
* Long (6 month) open strip expiration dating
* Biosensor technology
* Plasma referenced results
* Five year warranty
But the big draw of course is that you can change your meter color depending on your outfit or your mood.
The company writes: "An assortment of faceplates are available, we anticipate making exciting changes to this category by possibly adding a free face plate to each test strip carton and hope to soon make design software available on our website so that our customers can make their Glucocard 01-mini as unique as they are."
So when choosing your next BG meter, you don't have to pick just one look. As trivial as this may sound, I'm the first one to admit that sleek form factor and personalization options matter. Why do you think so many companies are now offering designer "skins" for pumps and meters? (Maybe Lifescan wasn't so far off after all with all their fuss about the effects of color on your psyche :) )
I'm also the first one to shout out that medical devices should be more like iPods, right? Well, my daughters have a set of set of interchangeable face plates for their iPod Shuffles that bear a remarkable resemblance to Arkray's new Glucocard color faceplates. So there you have it. Leading edge design and technology matter to patients — at least as much as they matter to consumers picking entertainment gadgets.
Why I am so gung-ho to start tooting this horn again? It's so cool to find that companies are responding to our rants about longing for better design. On that note: big announcement coming Monday, Folks! I invite you to have a sneak peak here.
btw, Arkray is also pushing the "affordability" angle on its new mini-meter (always a plus!) They are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and Medi-cal, and now available from many mail-order and chain-store pharmacies on a cash-pay basis. And they say you'll be seeing a lot more of Glucocard products "at your everyday pharmacies and retailers" soon. Click here for current info on where to buy.