If you are blind or have low vision, the Prodigy Voice Meter is the blood glucose meter experts recommend most highly. This talking meter has won awards from both the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind for offering blind people "the same convenience and features available to everybody else," according to the NFB.
The Prodigy Voice allows blind people to test their blood glucose, these organizations say. Unlike some other talking meters, the Prodigy Voice talks you through every feature, not just testing, and it has a volume control and headphone jack to make it discreet. The Prodigy Voice talking meter automatically reads the codes on its test strips (*Est. $17 for 50) so you don't have to enter them by hand, eliminating a possible source of human error. Testers note little touches that make the Prodigy Voice glucose meter easier to use without sight: AAA batteries that are simple to replace, a button to replay the readout, and more. If you don't need a talking meter, reviews say the cheaper Bayer Contour (*Est. $20) is the best blood glucose meter overall.
The Prodigy Voice talking blood glucose meter earns praise from several prominent health organizations, including the National Federation of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind and Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. An individual tester at HealthCentral.com prefers the Prodigy Voice, as does an optometrist (who is also diabetic) at DLife.com.
1. National Federation of the Blind
With the widest range of spoken instructions and feedback, the Prodigy Voice earns the most praise among several talking blood glucose monitors from diabetes educator Connie Kleinbeck.
Review: Evaluating Glucose Meters: Talk is Cheap, But Access is Golden, Connie Kleinbeck, Sept. 2010
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, Jan. 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
This reviewer is an optometrist who also has diabetes. He has high praise for the Prodigy Voice, which can be used easily "by even totally blind people with just a little practice."
Review: New Blood Glucose Meters for the Visually Impaired, A. Paul Chous, Sept. 22, 2010
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