Tuesday, June 4, 2013

30 Years of Meters . . . .

Today I’m over at The Loop blog talking about the latest blood glucose meter I've been using.  It was fun to think back to my very first meter in the early ‘80s.  I think it looked similar to the meter in the upper left corner of this picture.

Picture courtesy of Christopher Tidy via Wikipedia.org

Every so often I get frustrated because I feel like diabetes technology is crawling at a snails pace compared to entertainment technology (like cell phones, e-readers, etc.) .  But when I think back to the tools I used 30 years ago, I start to appreciate how far my diabetes devices have come.

Do you remember the first meter you used?  Was is very different from today’s meters?

** My Medtronic disclosure can be found here. **


  1. Accuracy... (Oh wait, we are being SERIOUS??). My bad. Sorry.

  2. All I remember is that it took 60 seconds to get a result (dx in 1995).

  3. Mine was about the size of two decks of cards, put end-to-end. No docs in my clinic system were using them yet, but I saw it advertised in the Sunday paper. I had to pay out of pocket for it and go pick it up at the medical supply warehouse in a really creepy part of town.
    It used Chemstrips and took 2 minutes and an enormous blob of blood.

  4. Mine was about the size of a small, hard back book. It took 2 mins, and you had to rinse the blood off part way through. It also had to be plugged in. I wonder about what the accuracy was. It still had to be better than using urine-tests (test-tape). But, by dipping the test-tape into the soda you were served, you could easily see if it were "diet" or not.

  5. Yup, mine was about double the size of the one you mention. It was the original Accu-Chek (the one in the picture represents the Accu-Chek II; they had it at my summer camp and I was so jealous!). It required a "large hanging drop" of blood... I remember their words clearly, which covered two rectangular colored pads on the strip. After one minute, you wipe the blood drop off, after an additional minute, the meter measures the color on the strip (or you could hold it up to the vial). Of course, it had to "view" the unused strip first for calibration purposes.

    And since there was a large hanging drop that ended up getting wiped off (the strip rested on a tabletop or the meter itself, there was no "capillary action" like there is now), blood got everywhere. My meter easily looked like a crime-scene.

  6. This is awesome! I had forgotten how big my first test kit was and of course it took 45-60 seconds for a result...I couldn't imagine waiting that long now :-P

  7. I don't have a comparison to offer, but am thankful for the perspective!


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