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The New Prodgy Voice—
A Quick Comparison with the Old VoiceMate


by Thomas Ley

For about a decade, the AccuChek VoiceMate system by Roche Diagnostics has been the market leader in accessible blood glucose meters for blind and visually impaired diabetics. The VoiceMate is no longer being manufactured. Roche Diagnostics has informed Voice of the Diabetic that they are working very hard on a follow-up product that promises to be full of features, but it is not available yet. With the much-anticipated introduction to the market of the Prodigy Voice talking blood glucose meter by Diagnostic Devices Inc., a quick comparison of the features of the two meters is useful.
It is easy to see why people are so excited about the new Prodigy Voice meter.

Feature

Prodigy Voice

AccuChek VoiceMate

Size

3.74” x 2.17” x 0.71”
95mm x 55mm x 18mm

6.5”x 3”x 2.5”
165.1mm x 76.2mm x 63.5mm

Weight

2.6 oz (75g)

14.5 oz. (411.06g)

Suggested retail price for meter

Around $85

Around $500

Suggested retail price for 50 strips

Around $35

Around $50

Button to repeat last spoken message

Yes

Yes

Size of blood sample required

0.6 microliters

4 microliters

Time to produce result

6 seconds

30 seconds

Spoken meter setup menus

Yes

Yes

Spoken test history

Yes, 450 readings with 7, 14, 21, 30, 60 and 90 day averages

Yes, 150 readings; no averages

Ear phone jack

Yes

Yes

Accessible user guide

Yes

Yes

FDA approved

Yes

Yes

Port to connect to PC

Yes, USB using a standard cable

Yes, serial using a propietary cable

Covered by Medicare Part B

Yes

Yes

How Can I Pay for my Talking Blood Glucose Monitor?

Many private health insurance plans will cover the cost of a talking blood glucose monitor under the durable medical equipment benefit.

Medicare part B also provides coverage for talking blood glucose monitors. Be sure you and your supplier follow all guidelines for reimbursement.

Medicare codes are: E0607, for traditional, “non-adaptive” meters, and E2100, for talking meters and/or add-on voice synthesizers, available to diabetics who are at least legally blind.

For Medicare information (in English or Spanish), call 800-633-4227, and ask for “Durable Medical Equipment.”

Tom LeyAbout the Author
Tom Ley has had Type 1 diabetes since he was seven and has been blind since he was 17. He is a manager and senior software support analyst for UPS and has a strong background in the field of accessible technology for the blind. He is the technology writer for the Voice of the Diabetic.