Review – Roche Accu-Chek Aviva Expert

By | 12 April, 2011
A picture of the Aviva Expert stolen from the Roche website. Sorry Roche.

A picture of the Aviva Expert stolen from the Roche website. Sorry Roche.

Avid readers of your soaraway Shoot Up will know that I’m a fan of my puntastically named pump Englebert Pumperdinck. This is for many reasons which I’ve covered off in previous articles so I won’t bore you with them again here.

However, one of the unexpectedly useful features of Englebert is the bolus wizard, which Alison has also raved about in an article last year which was peppered with confusing references to some apparently popular fictional child wizard.

In essence the bolus wizard is a calculator that you program with a ;

25 thoughts on “Review – Roche Accu-Chek Aviva Expert

  1. Tim Post author

    Oh yeah, it also does pretty graphs and things of your results – which look great on the colour screen. It also plugs into your PC to download data if you’re into that sort of thing.

  2. jason

    Great review Tim. I use the Combo pump and this meter and I love it because it is very easy to use and I really like the remote bolusing feature.The Roche rep told me that they are also working on CGM capability although it will be “next year” before we get anything juicy to check out 🙂

  3. Mike

    thank you @tim

    a pleasure and confirms that roche have indeed produced a meter that has the capacity to drown puppies..

    for sure my next stop if I can get hold of one. Mike over at every day ups n downs has been raving about the meter too..

    question? how does the wizard of bolusy place compare with the pump?

  4. Tim Post author

    Thanks @Jason – I hate writing reviews, so I’ve been putting this one off for months 😉

  5. Mike

    sorry mate, tragedy of having kids that watch the disney channel.. 🙁
    how does the bolus wizard on meter compare to pump bolus wizard?

  6. Tim Post author

    @mikeinspain He he!

    There’s not much in it – but I think I actually prefer the interface on the Expert – it’s just a smidgen more intuitive than the wizard on the Veo. In terms of number of settings, etc., they’re much of a muchness.

  7. Annette A

    For info, the wizard is (I think) exactly the same as the one on the Accuchek Spirit pump – the pump one came first, then they lifted it for the non pump people.
    Next job for @tim – comparing the wizards, please…

  8. Annette A

    But I dont have the veo pump, so can only comment on the Accuchek Expert/Spirit wizard…Quite happy to do something on the Accuchek one, but it wouldnt really be a comparison…Me thinks its time perhaps for a joint effort here. @tim, I will be in touch…

  9. Richard

    This is one of the meters i would most like to try out, as i really think it would help me getting the correct doses, – i currently always seem to drastically under estimate the amount of insulin i need

    I did contact Roche a few months back asking if i could buy one, they gave me a price of £110 but they wouldnt even sell me one without a referal from my DSN

    in previous communications with my DSN she seems to rate all things ‘bayer’ besides i wouldnt really feel like contacting her with just a request for a referal for a glucose meter,

    so i guess my prescription for test strips will continue to be ‘wavesense jazz’ 🙁

  10. Mike

    @searley I would deffo get on to your Bayer-touting DSN and get her to get hold of an Expert for you. It took me a couple of months after the initial setup to get mine set up right (for reasons too dull to go into here it can help to set some of your ranges and levels to be not quite what they are, but what the expert needs them to be to give you effective advice).

    I have to completely agree with Tim. When it’s working well it is really VERY effective at steering a course towards the midpoint of your range. Best so far has been approx 10 days with very few hypos and 70% of readings between 4-8 (including post meal). It even makes a half-decent stab during illness and other tricky times.

  11. Richard


    i use 2 insulins, novorapid with meals, levemir before bed, i assume the expert is only really concerned with the novorapid injections? and if i need to adjust the levemir i would do that based on what my readings are pre-breakfast, currently if im too high for a few mornings in a row i increase 1 unit every three days until im at a level in the morning that i am happy with

    or is the expert aware of the levemir too?

  12. Tim Post author

    Uhm, I don’t know – were you expecting a professional review? 😉 I think it can log your long acting insulin but whether it can give you advice on your basal levels I don’t know – I would suspect not. Do you know @Mike?

  13. Clare

    I’ve had one for about 6 months now. You can log your long-acting, but it doesn’t do anything with it, which can be frustrating if you’ve had too much or too little basal that day. I think this meter is really good, but it doesn’t go far enough in a way. It would be nice to be able to set up profiles for an exercise day, for example, rather than just for each blood test. Maybe it’s because I’m a software developer that I’m thinking about all the useful things that could be done with all that data 🙂

    Being able to see the active insulin on board is really helpful though and has stopped me from having too much on more than one accasion.

    1. Mike

      Sorry, late to reply… and yes, while you can log basal the Expert just assumes all is fine and dandy with it.

      The other thing to bear in mind with the ‘Active insulin’ setting is that it’s not *quite* what it says on the tin. It’s only counting down ‘active correction’ whatever is added (or you did yourself as an override) which was not understood to be dealing with the carbs logged for the meal. If you want to track full doses you need to back out of the ‘bolus advice’ screen then add the bolus manually.

      1. Alison

        @mike I find that a strange way of logging active insulin, but something at the back of my mind seems to remember that’s how the Roche pumps do it too – have I made that up or is that true?

        1. Annette A

          No, thats true – as the Expert was lifted directly from the Spirit Combo pumps. I dont know why, but it seems to make perfect sense to me…

  14. Rohan

    Hmmm. Sounds like a useful bit of kit. Sadly I STILL haven’t got around to working out numbers to go with my (usually pretty accurate) guesstimates. One day, maybe by the time this is a CGMS with allowance for basal and bolus, eh? 😉

    Also, is it just me that keeps reading @mikeinspain as mikes in pain?!

  15. Mike

    @neobrainless Rohan you would be correct that @mikeinspain is indeed in pain! 【ツ】

  16. Richard

    well.. i emailed my DSN, and she has a couple of these to give away, she wont give me one without an appointment which is early may.. so i soon should be able to have a play with one of these 🙂

  17. Peter Childs

    Got given one yesterday by Kings College Hospital where I’ve just been refereed with the idea that I might be better off on a pump, No progress on that once yet they want more tests and numbers, They plan to put me on a CGM for a week in a months time. Its a lets collect more data issue but at least that’s positive! They gave a few ideas to improve what I’m currently doing, but lets say I’m not sure they are going to work.

    I was using a Accu-chek Mobile before and had used the standard Accu-Chek before that, hence I know how Accu-check machines work….

    However having tried to use the Accu-Chek Expert for 24 hours, I now HATE it with a passion!!!!! I suspect this is all horses for courses but it usually takes a lot to make me hate something this badly!

    I’ll point out I’m a computer programmer and I’ve been thinking of writing a Mobile App to do this for a while but never quite got round to it…. So from an IT point of view I should know my stuff! I was also interested to see something I’d been thinking of creating…..

    anyway why do I hate it quite so much.

    1. Waste! It uses strips! which only get scattered and spread everywhere, the things in my book are worse than Fag ends or chewing gum (and I don’t smoke and never have and I don’t chew either but you know how you get annoyed by how they get everywhere down the streets and councils spend no end of time fining people £60 for dropping them, when in my book test strips are not much better…….) I love the Mobile due to the Cassettes hence no tine waste, yes you have a cassette once a fortnight, but that’s big enough to end up in the bin it does not go everywhere….

    2. Too Many buttons and they are a poke setting it up is a pain and it does not “learn” there is nothing there there I can’t do my self and its not flexible enough to log real things.

    3. Its not very “expert”….

    3a If you do a test go and do something else and come back it does not allow you to bolus advise on the last test…. If you do a test, go away eat you meal then bolus (once you know how much you’ve actually eaten). It will not do anything, fat lot of use that is back to the paper and pencil method! or you want to change your ratios before injecting it will not do your maths for you any-more.

    3b It will not learn from previous tests and make suggestions as to what do to make improvements not sure I would want it do that but……..

    3c As someone else says it does not tell you “Insulin Onboard” but more like “Insulin leftover” a point that needs making more clear in the manual! Also if you go an do the maths your self and add that later its going to come up with quite different numbers!

    4. On the good side nice “free book” Carbs & Cals came with it if its not a little patronizing.

  18. Peter Childs

    Ok having used it for a bit longer it grows on me…. Its one of these gadgets that once you sit down and work out how it works its quite useful. However its UI (User Interface) could been improved greatly.

    The comment that it needs setting up with the help of your DSN I would agree with, I would actually go further you need help setting up with the help of a Computer Tech, A DSN or somone who has used it for a while…. is probably true down to a Tee.

    In short its a useful gadget but I’m not sure its worth the effort of learning……

    A better User Interface would go a long long way. But that would probably need a a larger display and a touch screen, also I’d drop the Infra-Red and replace it with either BlueTooth (Since it looks the same as the Metre on the Combo Pump and that communicates via BlueTooth) or a USB Cable, possibly USB charger like Mobile phone’s have…..


    1. Paul

      @peterchilds glad its grown on you a bit, I’d made a note to comment as some parts of it seemed a little harsh.

      Its not a bad little system (i use it with the pump & it does what I need) but I’d say its the flaky, I’ve always used their meters & this is the worst I’ve seen them make. I wanted the remote pump control, if I was entering manually I’d fall back to the aviva nano which was quicker & more stable for me.

      I’d still pick it again but it really could’ve done with some rounding of the corners before being released.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *