The Prodigy Voice draws kudos from numerous blind or low-sighted reviewers and advocacy organizations for the blind. They say it's fully accessible for those with little or no sight, and it comes with a rich suite of features include a 450-reading memory and the ability to read aloud several ranges of average readings to you. The price of test strips is comparable to that of other blood glucose meters.
Award-winning, accessible design. The National Federation of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind and the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology all declare that the Prodigy Voice is the most accessible meter for blind and low-sighted diabetics. The meter's voice is loud and clear and its buttons are easy to find and use. Information on the Prodigy's accuracy is a little harder to come by, but an independent study conducted by Duke University found that another Prodigy talking meter, the AutoCode, produced results that meet FDA standards 100 percent of the time. The Prodigy Voice requires a 0.5 microliter sample and returns your test results in 7 seconds.
A full-access voice meter. The Prodigy Voice meter doesn't just read your test results to you, it talks you through the entire process from setup to testing. It also stores 450 date- and time-stamped readings that it will read out to you and will speak your 7-, 14-, 21-, 30-, 60- or 90-day averages. A "repeat" button will read back the last message spoken, and the capillary-action test strips suck your blood right in, so a non-sighted user doesn't have to worry about aiming a drop of blood at a tiny slot in a test strip. No coding is required, and free software can be downloaded to help you track your blood glucose readings over time. (You'll need to purchase Prodigy's connector cable to make the actual data transfer.)
It speaks volumes. The Prodigy Voice talking blood glucose meter was developed with input from blind and low-sighted diabetics, and it shows. Everything about it, from the Braille labels on the box to touch-identifiable buttons and a talk-through setup mode is designed to make blood-glucose testing fully accessible -- and independent -- for the blind. Volume control and a headphone jack let you do your testing discreetly in public, and the two AAA batteries are easy to replace. Connie Kleinbeck with the National Federation of the Blind notes that Prodigy's customer service staff is even specially trained to assist blind and low-vision customers.
Comparable to any meter. The Prodigy Voice's test strips cost about $20 per box of 50, although sometimes you'll find them for much less. That works out to an annual cost of around $584, assuming four blood tests per day. It's very reasonable for such a high-end meter.
1. National Federation of the Blind
The author warns that although many "talking" meters are aggressively marketed to the blind and low-vision users, "only the Prodigy Voice is totally accessible."
Review: Evaluating Glucose Meters: Talk is Cheap, But Access is Golden, Connie Kleinbeck, Not dated
2. American Foundation for the Blind
This organization conducts thorough ease-of-use tests on two talking glucose meters, the Prodigy Voice and SensoCard Plus. Testers like them both, but they find the Prodigy Voice slightly easier for sight-impaired people to use.
Review: Diabetes and Visual Impairment: An Update on the Blood Glucose Monitor Market, Darren Burton, January 2008
3. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
This study compares five blood glucose monitors designed for people with impaired vision. Only the Prodigy Voice is judged "fully usable by blind and visually impaired persons."
Review: Blood Glucose Meters That Are Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired Persons, Mark M. Uslan, et al., March 2008
4. 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 Prodigy Voice was one of six monitors that showed variance between test lots or according to hematocrit levels.
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
Ann Bartlett tests the Prodigy Voice, AutoCode and Pocket models. She likes the Voice and AutoCode models best, thanks to their big displays and loud speakers.
Review: A Blood Glucose Meter for the Visually Impaired, Ann Bartlett, Oct. 22, 2009
An optometrist who also has diabetes, this reviewer praises the Prodigy Voice for how easily it can be used "by even totally blind people with just a little practice."
Review: New Blood Glucose Meters for the Visually Impaired, A. Paul Chous, OD, Sept. 22, 2010
7. Prodigy Diabetes Care
This article relates an independent study performed by Duke University in April of 2012, evaluating the accuracy of six blood glucose meters including the Prodigy AutoCode. Only the AutoCode readings were accurate when compared to a YSI glucose analyzer. One hundred percent of the AutoCode's readings were within the FDA required standard.
Review: Clinical Performance, Mark Feinglos, M.D. and Bruce Lobaugh, Ph.D., 2012
Just a handful of owners have reviewed the Prodigy Voice at Amazon.com, but their feedback is still useful. They give it 3 stars out of 5, saying that it's accurate and the voice is clear -- but they're frustrated by the lack of visual markings for the test strip port, which is marked with an indentation instead.
Review: Prodigy Voice Totally Audible Meter for the Blind and Low Vision, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014