I have trialled the (was Bayer, now Ascensia) Contour Next USB Blood Glucose Meter for a while now and I am very happy with the meter. It’s a great all rounder and really covers everything that you would be looking for in a every day blood glucose meter.
At first glance I see its uniqueness, it’s compact, like a slightly larger than usual USB drive, it plugs straight into a PC or Mac. Its aesthetics would suit any generation. It looks cool enough for teens, and small enough to slip into a pocket or handbag.
There is a cap to cover the USB at one end and the other end is where you insert your test strip, but if you are anything like me that’s lost in the first 5 minutes!
The software is contained in the meter so no added cables are required. You can charge the meter from the computer or get a wall charger as an added extra from Bayer.
The software loads the programme Glucofacts Deluxe and that reads the data from your meter and can display it in various graphs or charts. You can print or save those files. Great to take with you to your clinic to review your levels with your doctor and great when you need evidence for a pump application. The rechargeable battery can’t be replaced so does need a charge to work. Bayer say even a few minutes charge will be enough for several tests. As well as testing and logging your blood glucose levels, the Contour Next USB allows you to add carbohydrate and insulin information, time of tests e.g. fasting, before or after meals, allowing you to see a better picture.
A finger prick test is just like any other meter, I had no failed strips and if you don’t add enough blood you get an error asking for more. There is a little light at the strip end so you can see where to insert the strip in poor lighting.
At the moment there are 3 versions available:
Standard Contour Next USB – it’s black
A Contour Next USB LINK – links to a Medtronic Veo insulin pump – it’s silver
A Contour Next USB Link 2.4 which links with the Medtronic 640G insulin pump only – also silver
For Medtronic MiniMed pump users – The Link meters have the extra feature of the option to send your results to your pump and automatically entering your test results when calibrating your CGM (if you have one) It can be used in place of the Contour Link for uploading your data to Carelink. Some users feel this takes a little longer than they would like, and the 2.4 with the 640G has been found to take longer than the Link sending your result to the Veo.
It’s worth mentioning the new CONTOUR®NEXT ONE – even though it’s not a USB meter, but would be good as a spare as its simple and accurate to use as a backup.
The smart meter and CONTOUR®DIABETES app seamlessly connect to capture all your BG readings and help you to manage your diabetes, smarter.
The Green, Amber and Red SmartLIGHT feature gives you feedback on your blood glucose result.
All Contour USB meters meet standards required for DVLA (2,000 test memory, up to 3 months)
Contour Next and Contour USB meters exceed ISO standards which are required to be met this year (2016) You can read more about Contour Meter Accuracy here
For the look and size of this meter, the ease of use and the dependability I am giving it 4.5/5 stars. My only wish would be for a pricker to beat the Accu-chek Fastclix!
After speaking to friends and members of our facebook groups, I have some suggestions for improvements!
Most agree that the lancer device could be improved.
Parents night testing have found the light doesn’t stay on long enough to get from one room to test before it shuts off and you need to re-insert the strip in the dark. I understand that charge life needs to be taken into account though.
A general point raised was the light could also be more bright.
An issue which is common with many meters is reading the result in sunlight. Not as often a problem in Scotland as I would like though!
The size of the strip container – again same with most meters, it really isn’t easily portable!
If you are an insulin user and test frequently you can apply for a free USB here: