Saturday, October 18, 2008

Accu-Chek Compass Software Review

Accu-Chek Compass Software Accu-Chek Compass software is one part of Roche Diagnostics blood glucose management system. The other parts include an Accu-Chek meter, a cable and your desktop or laptop computer.

Measuring your blood sugar and writing it manually into a log book is better than doing nothing at all but what's really needed is visual feedback that creates meaningful information out of the jumble of readings that pile up in your  meter. That's where glucose management software comes in.

With blood glucose management software like Accu-Chek Compass, you can display graphs and reports such as blood sugar trend, daily and weekly average readings, hypoglycemic reports, and target range reports.Diabetes Doctor

You can also display and print a one page summary report  with all this information and then share it with your endocrinologist or other diabetes care-givers.

What's more, you can automatically download all your readings to Accu-Chek Compass instead of entering them manually. Of course, to do this you need Accu-Chek's infrared or serial cable for your particular meter.


Accu-Chek Compass supports meter downloads for the following Accu-Chek meters:

  • Accu-Check Active
  • Accu-Check Advantage
  • Accu-Check Advantage Complete
  • Accu-Check Aviva
  • Accu-Check Comfort
  • Accu-Check Compact
  • Accu-Check Compact Plus
  • Accu-Check Complete
  • Accu-Check Go
  • Accu-Check Integra
  • Accu-Check Performa
  • Accu-Check Pocket Compass
  • Accu-Check Sensor
  • Accu-Check Sensor Complete
  • AccuSoft Advantage
  • AccuSoft Advantage Complete
  • Accutrend Sensor
  • Accutrend Sensor Complete
  • Glucotrend Premium

Naturally, you can always enter readings manually for those times when it makes more sense, but the true value in the program (in my opinion) is that it allows you to free up some time by automating this task much of the time.

For example, when you're away from home and one go, all you need to do is take your readings which are then stored in your meter. When you get back home, you simply connect to the desktop and download your results. Quick and no need for any typing.

And if you have the infrared option on your meter, you can simply set it up and point your meter at the Accu-Chek infrared cable interface and download it wirelessly. Very handy if you have the Accu-Chek Compact or Aviva meters like I do.

I've used this software for a little more than a year now and find it very good.

I like the way it's organized and I particularly like the meter download for my Accu-Chek Compact Plus via wireless infrared. People who own Accu-Chek meters will like the fact that it handles multiple meters. This allows you to have a "Home" meter and a "Work" meter for example. All the readings are merged and seamless this way making it vary convenient.

Trend Graph ReportOf particular use are the printed reports. The trend graph report  will quickly tell you if your treatment is working or not. This is vital if you expect to make any progress with your diabetes treatment and get better.

The one-page summary report includes the trend graph, the average day graph and target range pie chart. This should be printed and shared with your diabetes professionals. It will help them to better see what is what is happening with your diabetes and adjust your medications as required. Dietary habits such as meal times can be adjusted as well.

For all of it's good points there are a few things that could be done better. For example:

  1. There's no Windows Vista support. Why? I'm not sure but I hope that Roche has plans to add it soon. With millions of Vista users, it only makes sense to have it.
  2. There is no way to track insulin doses which help Type 1 diabetics like me to calculate insulin sensitivity. This is crucial for Type 1s because it helps them to calculate how much insulin to inject based on their carb ratio and other factors.
  3. There is no dietary information such as carbohydrate values for different foods. This would be handy and is especially useful for all diabetes patients.

Of course, I could go on and criticize other aspects of the Accu-Check Compass software but the fact is that this software does work very well for what it was intended to do. It's just a way to easily download readings and produce essential reports.

In a way, this is good because Compass will be easier to use for beginners who need a simple way to get into managing their blood sugar.

The price for Accu-Chek Compass is $29.95 at the time of this writing and you'll also need a meter cable or infrared cable in order to download meter readings.

For a complete overview and virtual tour of what's inside the software visit the:

 Accu-Chek Compass Demo (*Requires Flash)

Bottom Line:

Rating: 6/10

Accu-Chek Compass glucose management software is a pretty good program for Accu-Chek users to get into the habit of tracking and managing their own blood sugar.

It effectively organizes the essential information the diabetic and health care professionals need in order to better understand the patient's blood sugar situation and adjust therapies as needed.

It's not without it's short-comings though, and in my opinion should only be considered for the novice diabetic. More advanced users will want more I'm sure.

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