Review of the Contour Next EZ Glucometer and Strips

Review of the Contour Next EZ Glucometer and stripsWhat is a Glucometer?

A Glucometer or glucose meter is a medical device used to determine the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It is a key element of home blood glucose monitoring by diabetics. A small drop of blood is obtained by pricking the finger tip with a lancet and is placed on a disposable test strip. The glucose meter will read and calculate the blood glucose level from the small drop of blood. I will do a review of the Contour Next EZ Glucometer and strips formerly from Bayer.

The Contour Next EZ

The Contour Next EZ meter is a glucometer that is easy to setup right out of the box and allows you to customize the meter to fit your specific needs.
It is a good choice for the novice tester or those who don’t need a lot of extra functions. It is a plain Jane simple meter.

A personal hi/low range setting allows you to customize the meter to fit your specific needs. The meters accuracy of the blood glucose
is from 20 mg/dL to 600 mg/dL, (1.2 mmol/l to 33.4 mmol/l) but programming your upper and lower levels will help you before any problems start.

If you are at the lower level of 20 mg/dL or upper level of 600 mg/dL for some reason, may god help you. Something is not right.

The meter takes 5 seconds to read the results of the sample blood on the strip and is very accurate. The process uses innovative proprietary
Sip-In test strips that absorb 0.6 microL of blood to ensure an accurate result on one try. The meter then uses Bayer’s Multipulse technology
to evaluate the sample blood.

Meter Accuracy

A note about accuracy of the meters, they can range anywhere from + or – 10 % to 15 % of a lab reading on the same blood sample.
Why is accuracy important? Accurate readings can help you make the right decisions when they matter the most. Insulin users
will understand this. Test as many foods as you think will be part of your diet. It will be a lot of pricks, but worth it. For that you will need many strips.

Specifications

The process repeats the evaluation of the blood sample up to seven times to verify an accurate reading.
This meter is supposed to be accurate to 20, 650 feet, as opposed to most other meters rated at 10,000 feet.
Like most of the meters, it does not work well at 40 F or less.

The meter is compact at 3.03 x 2.24 x 0.74 inches and weighs 1.7 ounces with 2 CR-2032 Lithium batteries.
This no frills meter has a black-and-white display which makes it hard to read in the dark, but will have
the capacity to store 480 readings in memory.

GlucoFacts Deluxe Management software is available from the ASCENSIA DIABETES CARE website along with a series of how-to
videos and other tools to help with nutrition planning and blood-sugar monitoring. You can also check out Intermittent Fasting, Low Carb High Fat diet and exercise for further information,
The software is a free download and works on both PC and Mac.

Unfortunately, you do need to purchase a data cable to transfer data from the glucometer to your computer.
I never used this function because of the cost and would record by pen into my daily log book.

The Contour Next Features

THE CONTOUR®NEXT TEST STRIP FEATURES:
CONTOUR®NEXT test strips can be used with CONTOUR®NEXT ONE, CONTOUR®NEXT, CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 ,
CONTOUR®NEXT LINK, CONTOUR®NEXT EZ and CONTOUR®NEXT USB blood glucose meters to give you

– Remarkable accuracy in test results                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 – Second-Chance® sampling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                – Easy Sip-In Sampling® automatic strip filling action that helps you test correctly the first try                                                                                                                                                                                         – Accuracy even at low blood glucose levels                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       – No Coding™ technology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      – No interference with maltose and galactose‡, and other common substances (such as acetaminophen, vitamin C and uric acid).

Recording Blood Sugar Data

Gone are the days of the Glucograf III invented by the glucometer pioneer diabetologist Dr. Richard K. Bernstien. Above all, it was an old school pen and paper type recording for diabetics to keep track of their blood glucose. There is a sheet that can be copied right from the text of his book[1]. He talks about recording information and faxing the information to your doctor. Now the glucometers record 470 readings and store into memory.

This may sound amusing, but is almost the same method that we use today to pass information to our doctor or health practitioner. Hence, Glucograf is a registered trademark of Dr. Bernstein.

The Contour Next EZ will automatically record the blood glucose reading into the device. Record up to 460 times and save in memory. Depending on the actual Contour device model it can be programmed and linked to a computer or device to record the readings. The Contour Next Link 2.4 attaches to your device or computer wirelessly.

How to Test?

Setup a baseline test, the best way is to fast overnight for 8 to 12 hours. Take a blood reading before you consume food, then take another blood reading 45 minutes after food consumption. You will learn that carbohydrates and protein will cause blood glucose to spike after consumption. Soon you will know which foods cause blood glucose to spike.

Read labels on food products and note the carb content. Then you can plan your meals. Always take a blood reading to be sure. If the reading is out of whack, then you know something is not right. If you are not sure, take another reading. You will get to a point where this become a routine.

Some Tips

Lower your sugar intake gradually, and then eliminate completely from your diet. Whether you are insulin resistant, diabetic or someone that works out everyday, you need to have a glucometer. Before testing wash your hands especially after handling anything sugary, this includes soaps. Test again if you are not sure.

Pros

– Simple                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Reliable                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Low price                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                – Strips are cheap online and can be used with the Contour Next series glucose meters                                                                                                                                                                                                        – Meter good for 480 readings and stores in memory.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     – Strips absorb blood easily                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Internal Lithium battery lasts a long time                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       – Quick prick takes 10 seconds                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – The most accurate on the market.

Cons

– Need to buy a cable to attach to your computer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – Hard to read in the dark.

Comparison

Another glucometer that I highly recommend, as accurate as the Contour Next EZ, is the ACCU-CHEK Aviva. Both meters have been on the market for years and it was almost like the makers reverse engineered one another. When I do a glucose test I put the meters side by side and they read identical in almost 99 % of my readings. Remember the accuracy specification given out by manufacturers is + / – 10 %.

I have other meters but I would not recommend you buy unless you want to do a comparison. I have saved you the time and posted my results. The only con I have with this meter is it chews up your lithium batteries faster than the Contour. The reason it does that is because it stays on longer that the Contour after you have taken a reading.

Glucometers with Bluetooth or WiFi radios, that sync to your computer or smartphone. You will notice the glucometers will chew up the lithium batteries. This is due to the radios consuming battery power above and beyond the normal operation of the glucometer. You pay a price for this convenience and hopefully you don’t have trouble setting up your device wirelessly.

In Conclusion

My review of the Contour Next EZ glucometer and strips is a simple, low priced device, and with a 5-year warranty. The ACCU-CHEK is almost the same. The strips from both companies are the best sellers on the market and available at just about any pharmacy.  Likewise, you can have them delivered to your door. Order the Contour from here. Order the ACCU-CHEK from here.  Order CR-2032 lithium batteries here.

I recommend these meters and strips if you are going to be doing a lot of tests. I find that the strips are quite good at absorbing blood because of the contoured shaped. Just prick your finger and touch the strip to the blood and it will flow onto the strip. To summarize, clean, quick, easy, and no mess except for a bit of blood.

Furthermore, I give each of the meters a 4.9 stars out of 5 stars.

Lastly, test everything then you know how much a food product will spike your blood sugar.

Happy testing and stay healthy.

Reference

1. Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution – The Complete Guide To Achieving Normal Blood Sugars, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, Little Brown Spark, 2011, p85.

Recommended Reading (see My Recommended Books To Read)

Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution – A Complete guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, Little Brown Spark, 2011.

 

 

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