Along with being potty-trained, you learn disappointment at an early age. I remember when I was delightful young nipper (I was young once, honest) waiting in giddy anticipation for Christmas Day. Being small I didn’t give a flying damn about the togetherness of family, I was sleeplessly waiting for Father Christmas to deliver the latest LEGO airport model.
As you all know, the LEGO airport was the epitome of cool for the 1980’s small boy. It came with a full terminal building, landing lights, air traffic control – the works. The mere thought sends the hair up on the back of my neck even now.
However, as I ripped off the wrapping paper I uncovered a LEGO digger. My heart sunk, it was pretty damned cool but it just wasn’t the airport I wanted. For the first time ever my tiny frame encountered the terrible feeling of disappointment.
Forward-wind 25 years and one failed-pancreas later and that feeling re-occurred as I spent a week testing the Roche Accu-Chek Aviva Nano. I ordered my Aviva Nano via the Intermaweb and was, again, giddy with anticipation. Here was a meter that looked and sounded cool. Shiny and black like Michael Knight’s KITT car, but without the cheesy wise-cracks and flaky plotlines.
I unwrapped the box and was delighted. Delighted, that is, until I put a test strip in. The test strips work well enough but they look seriously clunky and ugly compared to the Aviva Nano itself. It was like a country yokel with straw in his hair attending an Ambassador’s ball. In this case the test strip was the yokel and the meter the dinner-suited posho sneering at the unwelcome guest.
Getting down to actual business I did actually like the Aviva Nano an awful lot. First off it’s utterly tiny and should really carry a warning about accidental swallowing it’s so petite. The three buttons are hidden round the sides and top of the meter giving a nice, sleek minimalist look to the device.
While it doesn’t have a backlight, the figures on the screen glow with a cool, slightly eerie blue which is easy enough to see in the dark for your unscheduled 4am hypo. The buttons I liked a moment ago can be difficult to find in the dark but it’s certainly no worse than any other meter. Needless to say, the Holy Grail of a meter that lights up the strip itself doesn’t happen here (will it ever, I wonder?)
The Aviva Nano has a reasonable memory and can display your averages over the last 30 days or so but doesn’t do anything more fancy like drawing graphs, etc., not that graphs are all that useful.
Results can be marked as pre-food or after-food using a cute apple icon and the meter can be set to beep to automatically remind you to test one or two hours after a meal; alarms can also be set for particular times which is surely a boon for the forgetful or negligent. These alarms are actually relatively useful and a moderately innovative idea. It seems Roche have actually put a reasonable amount of thought into what might be useful for the diabetic-on-the-Clapham-omnibus instead of churning out another meter with the same features as every other one on the market. Good for Roche.
After a week’s testing, I liked the Aviva Nano – it’s a small, neat, relatively sexy meter – if only they could do something about the clunky test strips it could become my regular every day meter. And you can’t get better than that!
So, finally, in summary:
Sample size > 2/5
0.6μL – quite a large sample in these modern times. Boo!
Test time > 3/5
5 seconds. Mmmm, okay I suppose. Nothing special.
Test strip calibration > 2/5
Yes, each batch needs to be calibrated. Boo!
Test strip slurpiness > 4/5
Very good, but yokel-styling raises a grimace each and every time you use one.
Memory > 3/5
Sexiness > 4.5/5
Oh baby; sleek, petite and sexy with funky lighting. Pity about the vile test strips.
Beeping > 5/5
Can be turned off, yay! But can also beep usefully at you to remind you to test if required.
4am test > 3/5
Glow in the dark figures are nice, buttons can be fiddly in the pitch dark.
Total > 26.5/40