The ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus from Roche Diagnostics is an improvement over the original ACCU-CHEK Compact, but still uses the test strip drum with 17 tiny test strips inside, eliminating the fuss of opening test strips individually and the need to carry meter and strips separately. The drum is about the size of a small spool of thread (one inch in diameter and one inch in length) and each is individually coded -- which means no coding by the user. Inserting the drum is easy and you can't insert it incorrectly, which means that the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus is suitable for use by anyone, including kids and people with limited dexterity.
Running a test is easy. You press the center button down, which turns on the meter and positions a test strip at the bottom. To obtain a sample, you can use the accompanying lancing device, which is a modified ACCU-CHEK Softclix that has been renamed to the ACCU-CHEK Softclix Plus that is easier to use. After the reading, you press the center button again to eject the strip.
With it's built-in motor and drum, the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus weighs more than most other meters, coming in at about 4.2 ounces. It's also thicker than most new meters, again, to accommodate the drum and motor. If the convenience of having up to 17 test strips inside the meter is important to you, the size and weight won't be an issue.
Because the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus uses a motor to push out a test strip from the drum and present it for testing, it makes a noise. The motor is also used to eject the used test strip from the meter. The sound is quiet, but it is noticeable. If you test in the middle-of-the-night or prefer to be very discreet while testing in public, be prepared for the noise. The two AAA batteries are good for about 1,000 tests.
The ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus test strip requires only 1.5 microliters and test time is 5 seconds. While the blood volume is not the best in the industry, it's still quite acceptable for kids with diabetes. While the 17-strip drum is very convenient, it's also expensive. Test strip drums are sold in packages of three, providing 51 tests, for about $48 or in packages of 6, providing 102 tests, for about $86. It's worth noting that if you accidentally pull on the button to start a test but don't need to test, you'll have wasted a strip -- it can't be pulled back into the meter for use later. Note that the button design has changed from the original ACCU-CHEK Compact and the risk of accidentally turning on the meter is reduced.
The ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus is an excellent choice for people with limited dexterity. Loading the drum is easy and fool proof (you can't put it in backwards), and all that's needed to run a test is pressing the button in the center of the meter. There's no strip handling at all. It's also worth noting that you can't spill test strips on the floor, since all the strips are contained within the drum.
Like the ACCU-CHEK Active, the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus uses photometric technology instead of electrochemical technology. This means that the meter measures blood glucose through color change in the test strip. The meter may require cleaning if blood or other debris gets inside the meter. If this happens, an error message will occur, prompting the user to clean the meter.
Key features of the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus include:
- 1.5 microliter blood volume
- Test results in 5 seconds
- Approved for alternate site testing
- Temperature sensor won't allow testing outside acceptable range
(50 to 104 degrees F / 10 to 40 degrees C)
- 500-test memory for storing blood sugar readings
- New, very bright, easy-to-read display
- Up to three test reminder alarms
- Hypo alert indicator (can be turned off)
- Highest, lowest, and average of readings
- Large, easy-to-read display
- Window on back shows how many test strips remain in the drum
- Infrared data interface port
- Displays blood sugar readings in mg/dL or mmol/L (country specific)
- Three year warranty
The ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus is very easy to use, even for young children. The stand-out feature of the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus is the 17-strip drum. However, that convenience comes with test strips that are a bit more expensive than other top rated meters, large size compared with other meters, and the noise of the strip ejection. If the convenience of having 17 test strips contained within meter appeals to you, and you don't mind the price of the test strips and the noise, the ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus will serve you very well.
- Ease of use: 10
- Features: 10 (300 memories, averaging, reminders, infrared data port, AAA batteries, test strip drum, no coding)
- Speed of results: 10 (5 seconds)
- Suitability for use by children under ten years old: 10
- Suitability for use by children over ten years old: 10
- Cost: 1 (about $89 per 100; $1,923/year at 6 tests/day)
- Overall Rating: 51
Roche Diagnostics Corporation
9115 Hague Road Indianapolis, IN 46250
Updated in mid-2008, the new ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus with the accompany lancing device attached to the side. Click for a larger photo.
The ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus with the accompany lancing device off to the side. Click for a larger photo.
The ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus showing the new high visibility display after a real glucose check (blood, not calibration fluid). Click for a larger photo.
Last updated July 17, 2008
The reviews of products are the opinion of children with DIABETES. Each product is reviewed with a single purpose: to determine if the product is suitable for use by children with type 1 diabetes, their parents, and, to a lesser degree, adults with type 1 diabetes. There are many products aimed at adults with type 2 diabetes that are not appropriate or suitable for children or adults with type 1 diabetes.
Last Updated: Saturday July 19, 2008 12:37:29
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