Messages from two correspondents this week got me looking at and thinking about the Accu-Chek Aviva meter again. When it hit the market three years ago, I wrote a positive review of it for Diabetes Health magazine.
But with the multitude of new meters to check out since then, I haven't been using my Aviva lately. That was a good thing.
"The Aviva meter will not let you use expired strips," Kevin wrote me a few days ago. "It is also smart enough to know if you reset the date and time before the expired strips are due to expire. I even did this with a new meter out of the box, and it still detected the strips had expired. It does this by looking at the codekey."
I didn't know that. But I did have some expired Aviva test strips. And sure enough, the meter showed an error message when I inserted an expired strip.
Kevin wondered if there was a work-around to defeat that feature. I told him that I sure hoped there wasn't.
Using expired test strips is a major source of variability, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It is very important not to use expired strips," the CDC's Dr. Mary Kimberly told me.
The Aviva Meter
I didn't mention this smart feature when I wrote about the Aviva meter originally, because I didn't know about it. The Accu-Chek people told me this morning that all of their meters do this, but they don't know of any other brands that do.
The other correspondent that got me thinking about the Aviva again wondered which blood glucose meter Dr. Richard K. Bernstein prefers. The author of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution and the leading exponent of a low-carb diet used to recommend Bayer HealthCare's Elite meter. But Bayer has discontinued it.
I also wanted to know which meter Dr. Bernstein prefers now. So I asked him.
"I currently like the Accu-Chek Aviva," he replied.
Now it's time to get new Aviva test strips.