Review – Bayer Contour USB

By | 24 July, 2010

Well chaps, after nearly 18 months of thinking about it I’ve finally gone and done a video blog. It’s a review of Bayer’s Contour USB meter and it’s almost unbearably  brilliant. In my view.

Anyway, watch and enjoy; and do let me know if you like the video blog format and I’ll do some more – we actually rather enjoyed doing it! Huzzah!

42 thoughts on “Review – Bayer Contour USB

  1. Annette A

    Oh yes, very 21st century. I spent a fair amount of it trying to work out what books you had on your bookshelf (sorry, Magdalen(e) college’s bookshelf…) and waiting for the reappearance of the glamorous assistant, who definitely needs a starring role next time… 🙂

  2. Tim Post author

    Is 21st cetury good or bad? And are you saying my review was not so enthralling that your mind wandered onto the books and the assistant?

  3. Mike

    @katie Beautiful hands 【ツ】

    Stunning review, slight disappointment that it was not crushed or something just for entertainment purposes!

  4. Tim Post author

    Oh, and if anyone’s interested, I did tie the bowtie myself – none of this elasticated nonsense!

  5. Hairy Gnome

    An excellent review @Tim, I nearly choked on my cheese and tomato butty! Nice meter, but too fiddly for me (and for you by the sound of it!). Did you really tie the bow tie yourself, or did your lovely assistant have to tidy it up? 😀

  6. Annette A

    21st century – good. (21st cetury – better?) My mind wanders at anything – it is impossible to tie down for more than a few seconds. I do think, however, that a techno geek such as yourself should have found a way to swop in a replacement at the last second, thus allowing a fitting finale to the vlog of blowing the thing up, yet still allowing @ckoei to receive the (slightly soiled) goods. I like things to be blown up 🙂

  7. Tim Post author

    @teloz – the tie was all my own work. I can tie a bow tie blindfold – a useful skill I’m sure you’ll agree…

    1. Hairy Gnome

      Prolly @Tim, something to do with your reference to a ‘gelignite suppository’ in one of your reviews… what an image that provokes! 😀

    1. Cecile

      Bangers and mash seems to make you Brits so bombastic…I beseech the ruffled flamingo to take “my” portable property under her glamorous pink wing until it can be sent to safety (and to put on its dear little fez that was tossed away so ruthlessly?)

  8. aileen

    Bloody brilliant Tim!!!! Love the video review and look forward to more vids!!!

    Marc’s been using the contour USB for a few weeks now and is happy with it. He went off the freestyle lite saying the buttons pressed too easily and so far nothing has beaten the Nano in his world! But as Accu-chek won’t give us a free data cable he’s not using a nano.

    1. Hairy Gnome

      If anyone is interested, I have a spare copy of the Accu-Chek 360° software, including a USB data cable. If someone wants to PM me with an address I’ll post it on to them.

  9. Mike

    @aileen I have a “Nano” and had no end of trouble with it and have reverted to the Aviva. I do have a Smart Pix which communicates via Infra Red… No cables required.. No sure how it would connect with the 360º software though??

    1. Hairy Gnome

      @Mike – The Smart Pix has all the software built in instead of running it on your PC. You need an infra-red reader to communicate with the PC if you use the Accu-Chek 360° software, the data cable that comes with it has has an infra-red reader on one end and a USB connector on the other (and a mesmeric flashing blue light! ;-)).

  10. katherine cromwell

    Fabulous review very upmarket – could we try a different location next time? I like looking round peoples houses! Certainly the way to go re reviewing products. How long did it take you to be 6.5? Very impressed. Did you try it on the pc and Mac? Do you think the pie charts, graphs and any other pictorial way of displaying our results was any good?

    Whilst you looked rather splendid in your suit (yes I’m very impressed by the bow tie bit) can the lady in pink have a full costume which she could share with us? Perhaps she could be the one who stabs you?

    Can’t wait for the episode.

  11. Annette A

    Ooh yes, @mustard – this could be the first of a long running serial – reviews around the house, each time the glamorous assistant getting closer and closer to doing the dastardly deed, until, in the last episode, she stabs @tim in the back, and finally takes her bow.
    Oscars all round.

    1. katherine cromwell

      I like your evil way of thinking! Insulin isn’t always detected as a murder weapon! We just need better locations and more of Katie!

  12. Tim Post author

    @mustard – if I do another one I’ll make sure it’s in a different location (or, in fact, exactly the same location as it’s conveniently near the big computer).

    6.5 was just what I happened to be – sorry! 😉 The pie charts produced by the software aren’t particularly exceptional – they’re just graphs of results really. But then what else do I expect?

    The lady in pink (aka @katie) has ideas for the next broadcast…watch this space.

  13. Hairy Gnome

    Roll up! Roll up! Forget Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Shoot Up Productions presents the incredible star talent of @Tim and the ineffably lovely @Katie in the blockbuster movie, “The Accu-Chek Compact Plus, Is It The Best Meter In The World, Or Is That Just A Rumour!” Be prepared for thrills, spills, laughter, and tears as they tell this epic story of love, lust, longing, and insulin dependancy…

  14. Charlie

    @Teloz and everyone really – the Contour USB DOES work on Windows 7 and the pie charts are fab!!

    1. Hairy Gnome

      I don’t doubt it @Charlie, but I was on about the Accu-Chek kit, which doesn’t, but as I’m a recidivist and quite content with Vista, it’s not a problem to me, At the end of the day we’ll all find our own ways of managing our data and we’ll all think ours is the best way, but as long as we all keep our blood sugars within reasonable parameters, who gives a sh… erm… tinker’s cuss? 😛 xx

  15. Charlie

    ooops sorry @Teloz – it’s been a long day – first day of the summer holidays with a 6yr old to entertain… at least it’s wine o’clock – that sould sort things out..!

  16. katherine cromwell

    Wine o’clock is a lovely time it goes unnoticed with the pump! but used to really be in-forced with the Lantus timing!

  17. Janie Leigh

    I agree with TIm. I use the Freestyle Lite and until the little hamster in there stops being able to work out my blood sugar I’m sticking with this meter. The USB meter looks faaar too fiddly for my liking.

  18. Tim Post author

    @janie1992 – finally! Someone agrees with me! That said, the Contour is actually quite a good simple meter – the Freestyle Lite is just better…

  19. Annette A

    I seem to recall (maybe its in your book, @Tim, or even one of those you mention in the article – my memory is somewhat hazy) reading about someone in America who spent a very long time in a coma that was irreversible (brain damage?) after being injected with huge amounts of insulin – can’t remember if she died or even is still alive. The point here being that they knew she had been injected with insulin, but they couldn’t actually prove who’d done it. So they couldn’t charge her husband. (But I think they did anyway. God Bless America.)

  20. Lesley

    Love the new review format! I fancy an Accu-Chek Mobile but sadly I’m stuck with my Aviva-esque Combo.

    Maybe you could play “Will It Blend” ( with any meter that doesn’t reach a certain rating?

  21. lizz

    Well, I received one of these in the post last week and have been using it, and have to say, it’s quite easy to use. I haven’t done a graph readout yet as I’m waiting till I have enough results, when I’ve got some more strips from the Dr.

    BUT the very best thing about this meter I have to say is that it reads WHOLE BLOOD!!!!! Who was saying they have to all read plasma now? This is so much better, I hadn’t realised how much trying to adjust the reading all the time was doing my head in.

    And what’s more I’m REALLY angry at Accu-Chek for deciding to change the way my blood sugars are displayed without properly explaining it, and for what reason, it just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I’m comfy with knowing that 4 is low and that my pump is going to add more insulin in to a reading above 16. It’s so hard in the middle of the night to start trying to subtract 12.5% from a blood glucose of 17.1 so that too much insulin isn’t given. Even if I had received the promised chart to calculate the difference there’s no way I’d remember to take one up with me every night.

    I was quoted that the actual readings I am used to are 10% lower by my nurse, 12.5% lower by Accu-Chek, and I’ve just read on an Australian website the figure can be anything from 10 -15% lower.

    GGGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Why isn’t more being said about this?

  22. lizz

    Ok, I now know that this meter does not read whole blood, it also reads plasma glucose. Well, actually, it reads whole blood like every meter, and converts that reading into an average plasma reading for that whole reading, as it were. Which seems to me a sure-fire way to make our readings LESS accurate.

    I’ve been using it for a while now, and it is not that well designed, I’ve decided. For a start, it is long and thin. You have to put the strip in one end. As i am right handed, I turn the machine to the right and push in the strip. But the machine turns on with the writing etc upside down, and I have to turn it round the other way, after putting the blood on, to read it. I find that fiddly.

    But the worst thing? It is unreadable in bright light. i didn’t notice of course until i was out and about now it’s sunny. Useless it is, you can’t read it at all. My Accu-chek is readable, beautifully so, in bright light.

    Of course the backlit display does come into its own at night, and everything is lovely and readable. But to get it to switch on you need to put in a test strip and guess what, you need the light on to do that anyway.

    So I think I’m not going to be using this one unless I want to do a readout anytime.


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