June 29, 2009

3 Reasons Why I Hate The OneTouch UltraLink Blood Tester

I recently started using the OneTouch UltraLink Blood Glucometer and I must say, I officially hate it.

As a diabetic who is literally in love with the Freestyle Lite (like, it's so awesome that I could marry it), I was devastated when my Endocrinologist handed me the OneTouch UltraLink saying that I needed to make the switch. The reason being that the OneTouch UltraLink actually communicates with my insulin pump, the Medtronic Minimed Paradigm.

OK, so it sounded cool. Plus this whole communication thing would probably help me be better controlled. I sadly kissed my Freestyle Lite goodbye and placed it into my supply cabinet (aka the tester cemetery).

After a few months of testing with the OneTouch UltraLink, I can honestly say it's the worst tester I've ever tried. It's as if they tossed it together without the input of actual diabetics during an all-nighter just to take advantage of a marketing opportunity with Medtronic. I mean, the communication technology is well-developed, but did you think that just because it communicates with a pump we would overlook the basics? And I must say, someone was sleeping on the job when Medtronic agreed to partner with such a shoddy tester (although I still love you, Medtronic).

The 3 reasons why I hate the OneTouch UltraLink are (and these are major deal-breakers for me):
  1. The screen's not backlit!?!?! You've GOT to be effing kidding me. Diabetics test 'round the clock including the wee hours of the morning. When I wake up at 3am, I have two options... Scenario A. Turn on the bedside light, wake up husband, test, fall back asleep after 15 minutes, listen to husband complain the next morning that he couldn't go back to sleep. Scenario B. Get out of bed, walk to the bathroom, close the door, turn on the light, test, walk back to bed, then lie fully awake for an hour thinking about how much I hate the OneTouch UltraLink. I usually opt for B. Keeps the husband happy and me from feeling guilty.
  2. Is that much blood really necessary? The answer is NO. Not when the Freestyle Lite and Freestyle Flash require just a fraction of that amount. Get with the program, OneTouch. We already have to poke ourselves and now your going to make us squeeze our fingers until they throb? Sadists.
  3. The size is ridiculous! Who wants to carry an enormous tester everywhere they go? Not me. And certainly no woman who values space in her purse or enjoys using clutches. And definitely no man who plans to carry his tester in a pocket. It brings back memories of dragging around a graphing calculator in high school.
OneTouch, you should really do some market testing to see how actual diabetics use a tester before putting it out on the market. Sure, you've got me as a customer, but you did it the wrong way. Here I am posting your flubs publicly and will certainly Tweet about it (follow me on Twitter, @sarahsavage8). Never underestimate the power of social media.

You need to take a lesson from the geniuses over at Freestyle. Based on what I've experienced with their products, they actual talk to diabetics about how they'll be used. Now, if only they would create a little beauty that will talk to my pump. Freestyle...you had me at hello and I'm ready to take this relationship to the next level.

Just one more note - the best thing about the Freestyle Lite and Freestyle Flash is the handy little light where the test strip inserts. It lets you accurately test in the dark, in bed, in a movie theatre, while camping, without disturbing a soul. YES! Now that's innovation.