I received my free Accu-Chek Guide today (available to any Canadians through the Roche website), and first impressions are that I quite like it! Enough that, if it’s accurate, I’d seriously consider switching.
The strip container is very flat and appears to hold strips in place by pressure, similar to the strip holder @Eric designed. The sample I got only came with ten strips, and unfortunately the container will only hold those ten strips. So I’d buy a full box of strips if I want to use the container. Strips can be replaced after removal, although I’ll have to wait until I’ve used all the strips to see whether a totally empty container can eb refilled. The Guide meter has a strip eject button on the side so that you can eject strips straight into a garbage or sharps container without having to touch them.
I put in a single Contour Next strip (with the others) and it does fit, but it doesn’t slide in smoothly like the Accu-Chek strips and I’d be worried about damaging the Contour Next strips over time. Also, the design of the container makes me wonder whether the Accu-Chek strips are specially designed, because there doesn’t appear to be any deccacent in the upper half where the test area of the strips are housed. The Contour Next strips are wider than the Accu-Chek strips, so another brand of strips such as One Touch may fit better. I like how the Guide strips do not rattle around at all, even while shaking the container, and I like how you can turn the container sideways, upside down, drop it, or toss it around with the lid open and no strips fall out.
The screen of the meter is excellent. It seems brighter than my Contour Next One. The meter has key beeps, which I quite like. It also has a strip light that seems brighter than the one on the Contour Next One. It’s a millimetre or two thicker than the Contour Next one, but they are both similar in weight. The Accu-Chek Guide has tactile markings on each button, which I like because the buttons are flush with the housing, so otherwise it would be difficult to use in the dark (or with low vision). The readins on the Guide are significantly larger in font than those on the Next One. The meter has a strip eject button on the side so that you can dispose of strips wtihout having to touch them. The meter has Bluetooth, though I have not tried connecting with anything yet.
I tested on each meter and the Guide said I was 7.8 mmol/L while the Next One said I was 9.2 mmol/L. My Dexcom, which wanted callibration, said I was 8.5 mmol/L. So the meters seem accurate for between-meter accuracy (they are within 20% of one another). I’ll do two or three tests in a row over the weekend and post the results.
I also quite like the case. It’s nothing to write home about, but seems functional and has a light grey interrior which I like as opposed to the all-black interrior many cases have. The elastic piece that holds the meter in place is thin and I wonder about its durability if one removes the meter from the case a lot. But it’s positioned in a way that it doesn’t block the screen or meter buttons, which I like. This seems like a meter that would be very easy to use one-handed while riding a bumpy bus. Unfortunately, it comes with a Softclix lancing device and not a Fastclix (the Softclix also has a lancet ejection feature to dispose of lancets without touching them; the lancets for theis lancing device are also flat and thin). The case, however, accommodates a Fastclix, which completes the one-handed easy operation.
The “Guide” part of the meter name refers to some pattern-recognition algorithms that the meter has. I can’t explore this feature with just one reading. Aside from the pattern recogntiion, it can show your fasting, before meal, after meal, bedtime, or overall average; the percentage of readings within your target range for the above times (fasting, before and after meal, bedtime, and overall); and the number of high and low BGs (probably for those time periods as well).
Here are some pictures. Ask me any questions you would like to know.