This is what it looks like. At first I looked at it and was really quite puzzled by the whole thing. However, that could be a very good thing for people who want to be a bit more discreet about their diabetes. I was confused about it at first, but with a bit of common sense and the use of my brain, I figured out that there are multiple small compartments all very cleverly and neatly tucked away within this little plastic casing. Underneath is a white compartment, if you pull it down it will reveal the test strip dock, take that out and insert it into the headphone jack of your phone.
First thing's first, make sure you download the My Dario phone app.
There are two ends, an orange end and a white end. If you pull the orange cap off, it will reveal the lancet and the little dial that allows you to set the depth of the needle. The meter comes with a pack of lancets so it's good in terms of getting you started. If you pull the white cap off it will reveal the compartment in which you put the test strips- this I found really cool because the testing strips come in a small white container that you insert into the gap and voila! Then place the cap back on both ends and you're good to go! However one thing I will say about the testing strips is that its quite hard to flick up the little lid on the container especially if you're experiencing a low blood sugar.
Open the app, and it will tell you to insert a strip. This is what the screen looks like when you insert a test strip into the dock. It's a nice design, very modern and aesthetically pleasing. One thing I really like is that it doesn't take a lot of blood, it is not a vampire meter that's for sure! 5 seconds later and the results are in, it will bring your blood sugar up on the screen. I should also mention that there is a small flashlight icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, if you tap this then it will turn on your phone's assistive light to give you more light to help you test your blood sugar in the dark.
It will give you your blood sugar result, the time and it comes up in a nice green colour. What would make this better is if it was colour coded, for example something like orange for low, green for in range and red for high. I know we as diabetics can very easily distinguish between what is high and what's low but it just makes it look nicer, and just gives you that instant idea of what your blood sugar is before you've even acknowledged the number. Anyway, that isn't a major issue, just something that I think could be implemented. Furthermore, if you look at the bottom of the screen it will give you an average blood glucose and how many hypos and hypers you've had. I only started using it that day so it hadn't properly been able to arrange my data yet!
I know a big question on people's minds when they're using a new blood sugar meter is accuracy. I use the Medtronic Contour Next that connects to my insulin pump, so obviously I had to use my own meter along side the Dario so that my pump would receive my blood sugar result. In terms of being similar to my Contour, the Dario did well. I have heard that the blood sugar meter that I use is known for it's excellent accuracy so the Dario was very good at producing similar results to the Contour Next.
However, there was some variation, nothing too major however it could pose a problem if you're experiencing a low blood sugar and there is a variation of at least 1mmol between meters. For example it could show a 4.5 but you're really 3.5...however I'm sure that's an issue with every single blood sugar meter and this is only something that comes to light if you're comparing.
If you swipe your finger across from the left side of the screen it will open up a new menu, where you can look at your statistics and edit your profile. One thing I will say is that it doesn't allow you to enter whether you're on a pump or injections or what kind of insulin you use etc. which gives the idea that it's a pretty simple user interface which is good for some, however I know some people like a really detailed picture of their diabetes. The only options are Gender, your name, weight, height and date of birth. I like the colourful design on the data screen and it gives you a day by day recap of your blood sugars, and you can look at it in 3 different modes, logbook, timeline and chart.
Overall, I think the Dario is a pretty neat invention. There is no denying it's convenience, you don't need to carry around a big chunky blood sugar meter in a case, you can simply slip the My Dario into your hand bag and you're good to go. However there are some things that could be improved such as colour coding and making the test strip pot easier to open. All in all I don't think I can fault it, it's got a simple, clear and easy to use user interface and it enables you to view all of your blood sugar readings on your mobile phone!
If you want to purchase My Dario yourself then you can go ahead and do so here with this link: http://bit.ly/AdvancedTherapeutics