Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The VerioIQ blood glucose meter (and a rant on accuracy)

I received this meter free of charge in addition to 50 test strips in exchange for a "use and review".

Upon first glance, it's pretty sweet. I hate to admit that I like new things and I'm attracted to nice looking things. "Ooh, something shiny!" I like new gadgets and I'm especially fond of new and fancy ways to test blood sugar. This meter is SLEEK. It even feels nice in your hand and kind of resembles the great big world of istuffs. And we all know how istuffs are kind of taking over the world.

It has an attractive colour illuminated LCD screen as well as my favourite feature of any glucose meter that can possibly exist out there, a test strip port light! SO simple, yet SOoo logical. The strips are different from any others with their prong-like shape. I am not very dainty with my belongings in addition to being a klutz. The strips are kind of thin and I found myself fumbling with them. That's not an overly "bad" thing, it's probably just me. I did bend one totally when I was trying to shove it back in the bottle and it still performed just peachy. At least they put up with me.

There is no removable battery and you have to plug it in to charge it. I will be honest, I was a bit shocked that the life of the battery is only like 2 weeks. My Contour USB which charges in a computer lasts for more than 4 months. But in the Verio's defense, it does a good job at pre-warning you of low battery.

So the VerioIQ is put out by the One Touch folks (Lifescan). In Canada  I find that they are maybe the largest market leader. I've noticed more people use their meters. The One Touch Mini is SUPER popular. I've never owned a One Touch product myself but there's no reason for that, just the way the test strips fell. They make the Animas insulin pumps and have an integrated glucose meter in with the pump controller. Needless to say they are a large company.

The biggest thing the Verio boasts is it's "Pattern Alert" technology which searches for high and low blood glucose patterns and notifies you, so you can make adjustments. Basically, if you get a low or high number at the same time for a few days in a row, the meter will alert you.

SOOoooo.... What do I think?
Well, because I only used the strips it came with, 50 strips is not a whole lot for me to actually develop patterns. 50 test strips lasts me MAYBE 5 days (I know, I test a lot).

I did... have an issue. A big issue.


When I get a new meter I go ape shit for a few days testing its accuracy. I was using the Contour USB (everyday use) and the Freestyle Lite (usually for exercising). So for a number of days in a row, every single time I tested my blood sugar, I used 3 meters. It was a hassle but a necessary hassle.

What can I say? The Verio was consistently, 95% of the time, much higher (than my Contour USB). It was also higher than my Freestyle Lite.

This is just a small selection of the recording I did with all three meters for a week

My findings:

Contour USB readings were the lowest
VerioIQ readings were the highest clocking in at an average of 1.8mmol (30mg) higher than the USB.
Freestyle Lite was almost ALWAYS in the middle with an average of only 0.5mmol (10mg) higher than the USB

There were a few times I felt legitimately low and gave the Verio a whirl. Those times it came back with a nice normal reading. But my other two meters said I was low. I WAS low, because I FELT low. Once I pulled out a brand new unexpired bottle of control solution (or as I like to call it, "normal person stuff"). See picture below for the results of what is supposed to be "normal".

Done WITH the control solution. Fuck that.

Yeah, I call bullshit. 8.4mmol/l (151) is NOT even close to normal and 4.1mmol/l (73) is on the very low end of normal. 5.0mmol/l (90)? hell yeah, like Goldilock's would say, "That's juuuust right!"

Sadly, I put the sexy VerioIQ back in the case (which is quite large btw) and into the storage bin of other misfit meters. Next blood draw at the lab I'll put the army of meters to do a better accuracy test. But until I can prove that one meter is more accurate than the next, I won't use it.

Needless to say, I feel obligated to put my trust in the Freestyle. Despite the meter not being sweet, sexy and cool, I go for accuracy first. I know this is not the same result that other folks have been having and it seems everybody is far more lucky than me. This is not to say that this meter isn't good, it just doesn't please me.

In conclusion, the VerioIQ is a sweet meter, I just wish for better accuracy (and a way better battery life!). Because after all, we base life or death decisions on those numbers and they are already allowed a 20% accuracy discrepancy.


  1. wow. i just ordered my Verio IQ today (free promotion), and then read your post. i use a One Touch Ping pump and meter, with the One Touch Mini thrown in occasionally. it will be interesting to see how it runs for me. i will have to do some serious control testing too! thanks for the review. i'll keep you posted.

  2. What a bummer, it is nice looking! Accuracy is huge, you'd think they wouldn't even PUT OUT a meter until it tested very nicely for accuracy. Right? UGH. Anyway, the 2 week battery life is ridiculous. I get 6 or more months out of my accucheck aviva. And my results always match my A1c. Shucks. Great honest review Scully! And thanks for making it entertaining at the same time! :)

  3. Great review Scully, I was very curious about the accuracy. I use the One Touch Ultralink because it is linked to my pump. The Verio IQ looks cool but it would have to be more accurate for me to have to actually plug the number into my pump everytime I do a check. Thanks for your honesty!!

  4. YUP!!! I was low twice, 2.8 on my contour link (which I'm not in love with either) and 6.8 on the Verio IQ. I called the company and complained... they sent me a new one. I still haven't used it. I'm so with you on this one. I have ALWAYS always had the best success with a Freestyle.... always the most accurate I find!


    1. Thanks for such a good review! My meter is an Contour USB (the only meter I have used to date) and find it quite accurate. I would be interested in the Freestyle though. Would not consider this meter until the accuracy issues are looked at!

    2. Just brought home the Verio IQ today -- my insurance is switching everyone over to them -- and liked the bells and whistles. My first reading was 204! My regular meter had 144 and my regular backup meter had 142. That's a BIG difference. Just now, after a nice 2 mile walk, the IQ spit out 145 and then 133 -- same drop of blood -- while my usual meter put out 119 and my backup meter showed 122. 119 is a GREAT number for me . . . 145, after the walk, is WAY high. I'll be testing every drop of blood with 3 meters for the next few days to see what's going on but it doesn't look good for the IQ!

  5. Thanks for the comments guys! But don't take my word for it. Seems a lot of people are having great results with it.

  6. I was a LifeScan girl for 17 years...quite liked them, until I switched to Freestyle Lite...I don't think I could go back.

  7. The best test is to use the same drop with two strips on the same meter. A good meter should give nearly exact results, while a bad one will show huge variability. I also found the Contour to way underestimate results, and the Freestyle is usually my meter of choice even though I have an Animas pump that uses the One Touch brand meter.

  8. I, too, ran an "accuracy" comparison between Verio IQ and my son's OneTouch Ultra Mini. It was consistently higher, sometimes up to 40-45 points difference. When he felt low, it would give me a normal reading. Needless to say, I've notified the pharmacy to discuss with their rep, and I've emailed the manufacturer. The averaging and trending are a great feature, but it's a moot point if the machine is inaccurate.

  9. I just found this thread after searching for Glucose Meter Verio Blue Higher Inacurate because my brand new Verio is giving MUCH higher readings (most of the time) than my OneTouch Ping. Very frustrating to have the Verio tell me '79' when I feel LOW and then to have my Ping confirm my low with a reading of '50'. I'll . I also wish the Verio had better tagging ability, and of course not connecting with my Ping is another mark against it but I knew that one in advance.

  10. FYI, I found that OneTouch Ultra Blue strips are sensitive to the age of the blood sample. Using a OneTouch Ping, an Ultra Mini, and an Ultra Smart, all lined up with strips from the same vial, I lanced my finger and used the same blood drop to provide a sample to each of the three meters. The longer the sample was exposed to the air before going into the strip, the higher the reading from the meter. I changed the order of the meters, I tried placing the sample VERY quickly to each meter, etc. The smaller the time delay between meters, the closer the readings. But the last meter always gave the highest reading (no matter which meter it was). The meters all gave readings closer together if I used a 2nd and 3rd finger-stick for the 2nd and 3rd sample, than if I tried to use one finger-stick for all three.

    BUT... It doesn't matter if I use 1 finger-stick or 2, or whether the Verio is first or second. The Verio reads higher than my Ping at least 9 out of 10 times!


    1. After 2 weeks testing my new Verio IQ meter, I finally put it to rest (in garbage can). When my other 2 meters (Ultra 2 and Ultra Mini)show 5.5 and 5.7 respectively, the Verio IQ show 6.8. I need accurate readings, not bell and whistle.

  11. Well that's interesting to know... I'm surprised that the ContourUSB was as accurate as it was for you... My "team" has been bugging me for years to "upgrade" my meter (Still using Abbott Precision Xtra with glow in the dark faceplate, cant't stand the tiny new ones.) and when I tried the USB, it seemed to give me random whacky results compared with 3 Xtras I have... I agree that accuracy is the most important function of a meter and Health Canada & the FDA need to RAISE the bar, not lower it...

  12. I got the VarioIQ meter for free at the doctors office. after a few tests I got unreliable results, for example 180, 156 and 170 in one minute difference. I went back to the doctors office, the nurse compared the results with her glucose meter and advised me not to use the VarioIQ anymore....

  13. Obtained a new verio IQ had it about a week before going into the hospital to get my sugar better controlled. The verio was consistently 1.5-2.5 units higher reading than the hospitals "pro" unit. This made me quite nervous as I was just starting to use fast acting ins. Hospital would say I was 6.9 verio told me I was 8.6. Happened about 95% of the time when I compared meters during my stay. My wife brought me my contour meter two days before going home. The contour was always within .4 of the hospital meter. Phoned vario and they sent me a "brand new" verio IQ it too is out about 1. 1.3 higher than my contour.....


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