Monday, June 17, 2013

Product Review: iBGStar

So I did a really dumb thing and bought a meter without doing proper research; because of that, I thought I'd do a product review so that you can hear what I think.

The Positives: 

The meter was really cheap.  I've seen some of my "friends" post pictures of their blood glucose readings from their iBG Star meters and I thought it looked like a nice meter.  I found a really good deal on Walgreens and ordered it.  I think the meter cost me $5, shipping included!  Score.

I just discovered that I can use the meter WITHOUT  plugging it into your phone.  So, it is a very, very small meter.  But don't forget the test strip vial and your favorite lancet delivery device AKA poker.

I did like the log book.  That is easy to use, easy to read, and easy to make changes in my insulin and basal adjustments.  I really like that.  The graphs, logs, and statistics are all very easy to read and use.  I can email my data to my HCP if he even has an email address and then we can use that at our appointment.

It's a crowd pleaser.  Everyone loves that I can plug my meter into my iPhone and test my blood sugar.  And it does a really fun graphic while it's processing.

The Negatives: 

The strips are VERY expensive.  I called my Endo and asked one of the nurses to call in an Rx for strips to my pharmacy company.  Another mistake I made was that I did not look in to the price of said strips.  I was charged $318.00 for 90 days worth of strips.  My usual co-pay for 90 days (One Touch Ultra Link) is $50.  So, wow.  I was kind of shocked by that.  Once I'd received the strips, I could not return them.  So I was stuck using these expensive strips, hopefully making them last as long as possible.

I cannot use a case of any kind on my phone. I use the iPhone 4s.  It is really not a good thing to walk around with my case off all of the time but this is what I've resorted to due to the fact that I don't want to be taking my case off an on 6-10 times daily.  I know there's a case which keeps the meter plugged in all of the time but I OFTEN plug my phone onto a radio and listen to music in my home, office, and wherever I'm at.  So.. yeah.  Don't like that.

I really don't like haivng to charge a meter.  Finding a battery, even a weird battery, every, what? 5 years? is FINE BY ME.  But having to plug the meter in to charge, ANNOYING!

I don't like how long the meter takes.  It technically only takes about 5 seconds to register a blood glucose, but you have to plug in the meter to the bottom of your phone (or iPod if anyone is still using one of those) and wait.  It has to register the clock, register your last reading, and THEN it's ready for a test.
The graphic on it is pretty cool, but HONESTLY, I do not need a meter to do that.  I don't even need a meter to be in COLOR.  Just tell me the number.

There is no pump sync.  What a pain in the butt.  I hate having to remember the sugar, and scroll up or down to tell my pump what my reading was.  Meters which sync to pumps are MUCH better.  I know this may sound totally snob-ish but Diabetes is a big enough pain, devices which make it easier, I love you!

Errors.  I've had more errors with this meter than with ANY OTHER METER I'VE EVER USED.  When you're paying more for strips than you have for any others, that's just a real, big drawback.

The last thing is Apple's fault.  The meter will not work with the new generation of iPhones and iPods due to the different port they've put on their new devices.  iBG Star will have to go through the FDA again to get approval on a meter with the new port.  That's really lame, Apple.

Overall, I think the meter is too much of a gadgety gimmick.  It's not a practical meter at all.  The cost is outrageous and I'll be happy when I run out of strips so I can go back to my old meter.

Sorry for such a negative post.  If someone had been honest like this about the meter before I bought mine (totally my fault because I didn't read any reviews) then I definitely wouldn't have purchased it.

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