The Accu-Chek Aviva Plus enjoys an excellent reputation for accuracy with both experts and consumers. Its 0.6 microliter blood sample and 5-second result time are competitive, and it packs impressive features including a 500-reading memory, several averaging options, touchable test strips and four programmable alarms. This monitor is compatible with Aviva and Aviva Plus test strips; if you're receiving drug products or therapies that contain non-glucose sugars, make sure you use the Aviva Plus strips.
Earns top honors. The Accu-Chek Aviva Plus earns high honors in a number of clinical tests showing that it meets -- and often exceeds -- the current FDA standard for blood glucose meters. It also garners an "excellent" score for accuracy and "very good" repeatability from a leading consumer research group.
As always, we find a few mixed reviews of accuracy from consumers -- but far fewer than for most meters. There are also a few older complaints about apparent quality-control issues, but these are accompanied by praise for the way Accu-Chek's customer service handled the issues.
The Accu-Chek Aviva requires an average-size 0.6 microliter blood sample and returns results in 5 seconds.
As expected. The Accu-Chek Aviva Plus comes with the typical suite of features for a high-end meter: A 500-reading memory, 7-, 14- or 30-day averaging and four customizable alerts. It'll also beep to let you know when you've applied enough blood to the test strip.
The Accu-Chek Aviva Plus has the ability to transfer its data to a computer, but you must purchase the Accu-Chek 360 software separately (Est. $35, PC only) and you'll also need an infrared cable to make the transfer. Alternate test sites include the palm, forearm, upper arm, thigh and calf.
Improved coding system. Customers and experts alike are full of praise for the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus's easy-use features. "I have found it to be very reliable, easy to use and to have great customer service when I've needed it," writes one man at Amazon.com. The Aviva Plus also earns an "Ease of Use" award from the Arthritis Foundation; the large digits, touchable test strips and programmable reminder alarms make it easy to handle for kids and adults. A new coding system -- just insert a black code key (previous code keys were white) and your meter is coded for life -- is an improvement over the Aviva's old code-with-every-vial system.
Near the top again. A leading consumer research group estimates the yearly cost of using the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus at $1,710, assuming you test your blood four times per day. We peg the cost at about $35 per box of 50 test strips, although Roche Diagnostics, the company behind Accu-Chek, offers a discount card that brings the price of test strips down to no more than $15 per 50 strips.
Note that the Accu-Chek Aviva is compatible with both the regular Aviva test strips and Aviva Plus. The GDH-PQQ (glucose dehydrogenase pyrroloquinoline quinone) technology in the regular test strips can react with certain non-glucose sugars and return false high results. Be sure to consult with your health provider to find out how this may affect you.
1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that GDH-PQQ test strips -- including standard Accu-Chek Aviva test strips -- can react with certain non-glucose sugars, returning false high results that could lead to potentially fatal complications.
Review: Advice for Patients: Serious Errors With Certain Blood Glucose Monitoring Test Strips, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Aug 13, 2009
An undated safety notice on the Accu-Chek website, states that Accu-Chek Aviva Plus test strips, used in the current Accu-Chek Aviva blood glucose meter, "deliver accurate test results in the presence of maltose, making the systems suitable for use by people on peritoneal dialysis using solutions containing icodextrin," and for people receiving other therapies with solutions containing maltose.
Review: ACCU-CHEK Aviva Plus System, Unknown author, Not dated
3. Current Medical Research and Opinion
Researchers compared the BGStar and iBGStar against four other blood glucose meters, including the Accu-Chek Aviva. The researchers discovered that 100 percent of the Accu-Chek Aviva's readings were within clinically acceptable areas.
Review: Clinical Assessment of the Accuracy of Blood Glucose Measurement Devices, A. Pfützner, et al., April 2012
4. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics
Researchers test five recently introduced blood glucose meters, including the Accu-Chek Aviva, under everyday conditions and compare the results against a clinically administered test. The Accu-Chek Aviva meets ISO requirements 97 percent of the time.
Review: Accuracy Evaluation of Five Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems Obtained from the Pharmacy: A European Multicenter Study with 453 Subjects, Cornelius Tack, M.D., et al., April 2012
5. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
The researchers evaluate 43 blood glucose monitoring systems for their conformity to ISO standards for CE-labeled glucometers. The Accu-Chek Aviva passes and is accurate to the level defined by the standards 100 percent of the time.
Review: System Accuracy Evaluation of 43 Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose According to DIN EN ISO 15197, Guido Freckmann, M.D., et al., September 2012
6. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Researchers evaluate seven blood glucose monitors for their compliance with the current and proposed ISO criteria for blood glucose monitors. The Accu-Chek Aviva Plus is the only glucometer that met the proposed criteria with all three lots of test strips tested.
Review: Performance Variability of Seven Commonly Used Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose Systems: Clinical Considerations for Patients and Providers, Ronald L. Brazg, M.D., et al., January 2013
7. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Researchers tested four lots of test strips for each of five blood glucometers; the Accu-Chek Aviva is one of only two meters that meets the criteria in DIN EN ISO 15197:2003 with each lot of test strips tested.
Review: Lot-to-Lot Variability of Test Strips and Accuracy Assessment of Systems for Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose According to ISO 15197, Annette Baumstark, Ph.D., et al, September 2012
The editors of ConsumerReports.org test more than two dozen blood glucose meters, including the Accu-Chek Aviva, for several factors including accuracy, repeatability and convenience. Full details are only available to subscribers, although ConsumerReports.org offers some general information about blood glucose monitors for free.
Review: Blood Glucose Meter Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
9. The Arthritis Foundation
The Accu-Chek Aviva was the first diabetes blood glucose testing system to receive an "Ease of Use" commendation from the Arthritis Foundation. High points include the easy-grip meter; large, easy-to handle strips; and a preloaded, drum-based lancing device.
Review: ACCU-CHEK Aviva Plus System, Editors of The Arthritis Foundation, Not dated
Before Walgreens.com imported several hundred user reviews of the Accu-Chek Aviva from the Accu-Chek website -- a common practice for some online retailers -- about two dozen Walgreens.com users gave the Accu-Chek Aviva an average score of just under 4.5 stars out of 5. They particularly praise its accuracy, reliability and ease of use.
Review: Accu-Chek Aviva Diabetes Monitoring Kit, Contributors to Walgreens.com, As of April 2012
About 80 user reviewers give the Accu-Chek Aviva a 3.8-star average rating, out of 5. This is far and away the best source of user input, since most other retail sites have imported reviews from Accu-Chek's website. Most of the complaints center around quality-control issues, although we also found reports of good customer service experiences as Accu-Chek worked to resolve the issues.
Review: Accu-Chek Aviva Blood Glucose Meter, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014