Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day! I've got a KeyNote.

When I got an email from Albert last week about testing out the WaveSense Keynote, I’ll admit I kind of laughed to myself. I have always wondered why he was blogging about Diabetes with little more than an outsiders view. I don't doubt that is he really is interested in what it means to live with either type of Diabetes, but this email just made it all click for me. Anyway I jumped at the chance to try out the new meter and I replied right away. I’ve waited patiently for the "assessment package" and it arrived today. Of course I immediately ripped open the UPS box to find all the loot.

It’s kind of sad that diabetes related stuff can make me so excited.
Diabetes 365 - Day 200 Blogging Perks.
The package included:
2 WaveSense KeyNote Meters
12 boxes of 50 test strips (600 strips)
1 copy of Zero-Click data management software
High/low control solutions
100 33-gauge lancets

After reading over the paper work, I opened one of the meter boxes to get started. I’ll admit that I didn’t read the instructions at first because I thought I would be simple to set up. Well apparently it’s not or I was just completely unable figure it out. So I sucked it up and actually read the set up pamphlet. I think the fact that I actually had to read it might say something about the user friendliness, but I could also just be really used to the way OneTouch meters work. I got through the alarm, time, hypo/hyper warnings, sounds, backlight set up pretty quickly. Next I set up a control solution test, which seemed fine ringing in at a 115mg/dL. I decided the next step should be a comparative test so I set up both meters for a real glucose check. Washed my hands, pricked my finger and drew enough blood to use that same finger for both tests. I placed the blood on each strip and waited the 5 seconds. The KeyNote rang in at 211mg/dL while my UltraSmart clocked in at 138mg/dL, uhhh not that close.
Wonky Results.
So I set it all up again. KeyNote: 165mg/dL UltraSmart: 132mg/dL, still not as close as I would like but I did kind of feel a wee bit high so I go with the 165 and take a correction just to see what will happen. Thankfully the difference between 165 and 132 doesn’t really change the amount of insulin or the outcome too much for me.
Wonky Results 2
30 minutes later I tried again, KeyNote: 167 mg/dL UltraSmart: 129 mg/dL. And now two and half hours later, Keynote: 120 mg/dL UltraSmart: 87 mg/dL.
Wonky Results 3
My conclusion is that I ultimately trust my UltraSmart, especially on the last reading because I can feel when I am on the lower end of normal very easily. I start to have mild hypoglycemic symptoms, and right before I tested I realized I was extremely hungry and kind of clouded in my thoughts. Plus it is also the time when my basal has been kicked up for awhile in anticipation of dinner, so that 87 was exactly where I thought was/I usually am. I’ll keep double testing to figure out the accuracy issue. I usually squeeze out too much blood anyway so I might as well put it to good use. Now for some more meter details and my first impression. I’m going to be very honest here so be prepared.

  • The frigging batteries this thing takes. I’m used to buying a huge pack of triple a’s at Costco for my meter and pump. The KeyNote takes those stupid button batteries.
  • The case. It’s too small. I can’t fit my usual extra supplies in it. In my UltraSmart case I usually have alcohol swabs, a pump cap, a syringe, pen top needles, a full pump cartridge and a vial of insulin in the net zip pouch. I could not fit all of that in the tiny KeyNote interior pockets. I also had a lot of trouble sliding the meter into and out of the little plastic sleeve. I’m not sure if it’s the elastic not being broken in or what, but it’s driving me crazy.
  • The way the strips are packed so tightly into the vial. I thought 50 strips in a vial would be great, until I realized I couldn’t get them out very easily. I scratched around in the vial attempting to get them out. I finally resorted to lightly shaking them to the top like I was shaking a bit of salt into my hand. I can see this resulting in strips all over the floor.
  • The backlight times out really quickly. I’m not sure if that’s something I can change in the settings or if it’s just stuck that way.
  • It doesn’t store enough information. I may not always use the food entries etc on my UltraSmart, but I like the fact that they are there. The UltraSmart is like a Diabetes PDA. You can’t place the meter in the case any other way but the way it comes. Does that make sense? If it doesn’t with the UltraSmart you can place the meter in either direction in the plastic sleeve, KeyNote not so much. What’s up with no 7 day and 60 day average? Especially the 7 day, I love that on my UltraSmart. For instance I can see that this week I’ve had some really screwy numbers. 14 days doesn’t really show me as much.
  • The design of the lancet device. It’s petite and sleek. I’m not sure how I feel about the actual lancets. I’m not one of those OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THE MULTICLIX kind of people so I don’t really care.
  • The fact that the software came with this demo. I’ve used the OneTouch meters for 4 years without the software, just because I was too lazy to get it. So the fact that I’ve got some kind of management software to play with should be interesting. I haven’t used it yet so I don’t know if it would provide the information I like but it’s worth a shot.
  • The fact the strips are insert side up in the vial(does that make sense?) Let me explain…I hate with the OneTouch strips that you touch the side that the blood goes in when you take a strip out of the vial, I just feel like it contaminates the strip or something. I’m weird.

So that’s that. I’ll have more as I continue to use the KeyNote.


Colleen said...

Ummm Jillian - can't read anything after HATE...

Jillian said...

I'm having some layout issues. Let me see if I can work it out.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hi Jillian,

I can see everything. Nice roundup of everything.

Do you plan to continue using it for the evaluation? I would be interested to hear what you think after a few weeks compared to now.

I'll stay tuned...

Allison said...

I completely agree that the keynote runs higher. I have tested when I feel low and it usually puts me in the mid-80s, just like the BD Logic I used to have and complain about. I can't tell so far if it's really causing a problem because so far I haven't tanked really low... so who knows?

I actually like that the strips are packed tighter because I feel like it's a better use of space. Getting those giant Ultra bottles and having them half-empty seems ridiculous to me. I haven't really tested at night (and I usually turn the light on when I do) so I rarely worry about the backlight. I also agree that the case is a little small. Not terrible, but a little small.

I also never use my meter for anything but blood sugars and as long as it keeps record of that, I'm fine. My pump keeps track of my insulin intake and my carb intake, so I don't need my meter to do any of that work.

Allison said...

Oh, btw, if you use the Zero Click download software, you can get all the average information you need. Try it out. It's actually go some pretty neato graphs and you can play around with the hours of your lunch and dinner, which is great for me, because my lunch is usually between 1-2pm and my dinner sometimes isn't until 7:30 or 8:00.

Jillian said...

Allison: It's just frustrating because at first I was totally like "I CAN'T TRUST MY ULTRA SMART"! But I know my body and the KeyNote isn't right. I agree that the use of space is way better with the strips, that's why I initially thought I would like it, but I found it really difficult to quickly get a strip out. I definitely don't expect any meter to serve as my total all in one management tool. I don't have the software for my UltraSmart and the software for my pump isn't compatible with my computer so I like that I can track things on the UltraSmart without the software.

I look forward to working with the software, and that will definitely be my next step.

Scott: I do plan to continue to use it as often as possible.

Bernard said...


Nice write up. I've used the Keynote as a backup meter for the last year or so. It consistently gives higher readings than my OneTouch, but the accuracy tests from Agamatrix lead me to trust the Keynote more.

When I get the new Dexcom, I'll switch over to the Keynote full time. My guess is that I'll see my A1C go down as a result.

I do love the design of the Keynote strip. You can't put it in upside down, because the blood end has a different shape. I also like the slightly pointy end, it makes it easier to 'aim' at the blood drop.

dae said...

This is interesting! (: Given that I'm a loyal OneTouch user, and that I've never seen any Keynote products around my side of the forest, I'm going to have fun reading your review. Like I commented on your D365 page, meters are fun stuff!

Naomi said...

Excellent review, Jillian! And you know, the person with the most toys wins!!

Windy said...

Thanks for all the info Jillian. I'm going to switch to the Keynote after viewing Bernard's video due to the accuracy and price factors.