At first glance, I liked the new Clever Chek meter. It’s aesthetically pleasing and presented (packaged) very well.
Simple Diagnostics in Williston Park, New York, the sole North American distributor of Clever Chek brand products, launched the Clever Check here in August. TaiDoc Technology Corporation in Taipei, Taiwan, is the manufacturer.
This simple little meter has only one button. But it has all the features that we need.
Like more and more meters these days, the Clever Chek doesn’t require you to set the meter’s code to match the test strips. It’s so easy to use that I didn’t even have to read the owner"�s manual. But if I had read it, I would have set the time and date. I didn’t do that until after I took this picture.
This meter is accurate. My blood glucose reading here of 106 mg/dl (5.9 mmol/L) was only one point different from the result I got with the same drop of blood when testing with the AgaMatrix KeyNote.
The Clever Chek takes a small 0.7 microliter blood sample. It returns a result in a fast 7 seconds. The Food and Drug Administration has approved it for alternative site testing on your palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh, or calf.
It doesn’t provide for downloads of your readings to a computer. For most people that’s not an important limitation.
The Meter retails for only $19.99, according to Paul Larn, the national accounts manager for Simple Diagnostics. And 50 test strips go for $17.99, he says.
Paul says that you can get the meter and strips "at many independent retail pharmacies." They are also available online including Amazon.com. But Amazon sells the meter for $29.99 and
50 test strips for the same amount.
In a follow-up message Paul told me that currently more than 500 independent pharmacies nationwide sell his company’s products. “Best will be if people call our toll free number 877-DIABETK (877-342-2385) and give us their zipcode,” he says. “We can tell them the nearest pharmacy in the area.”
As much as I liked the way Simple Diagnostics packages the meter, this is my only reservation. They package too much.
The packaging includes a box of "Alcohol Prep Pads." To me this implies that Simple Diagnostics would like us to use them to clean the test site. But the owner’s manual ignores these pads and generally you would be well advised to do likewise.
Any alcohol on the skin may interfere with your test result, so the experts don’t recommend that you use alcohol prep pads routinely. Only where you don’t have warm water is it a good idea to use alcohol to clean the test area. And be sure to air dry it well before testing.
But the rest of the Clever Chek package is first rate. You might not fall in love with blood glucose testing, but with this meter you aren’t likely to hate this chore.
David Mendosa is a journalist who learned in 1994 that he has type 2 diabetes, which he now writes about exclusively. He has written thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and publishes the monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, current A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 keep his diabetes in remission without any drugs. He can be found on Twitter @davidmendosa and on Facebook at David Mendosa.