Friday, September 7, 2012

The Accu-Chek Nano Earworm

I went to dinner with my friend Mike recently.  I pulled out my meter to check my blood sugar at the restaurant table.

"Oh, I was meaning to ask you," he exclaimed, "if you've seen the ads for the Accu-Chek Nano!"  I had not.  I was puzzled.  I was also kind of amazed that I hadn't seen an ad for it.  Diabetes ads always catch my eye.  "I can't believe you haven't seen it!" he continued.  "There's a theme song and everything."

"A what now?  Seriously?"

And there, in the restaurant, over a massive basket of delicious fried onions, Mike very quietly broke into half-hearted song.  "It's like, uh...Accu-Chek Nano, the one that I choose...da da da da and easy to with 9% more accuracy."

I could not believe that my non-diabetic friend was singing a blood glucose meter theme song to me. 

After laughing a bunch at the absurdity of this situation, I made a skeptical face.  "9% more accuracy?  That's not really a lot.  Is that all they have to tout about it?  I mean, I know you're not exactly hip to what constitutes a good glucometer, but that doesn't seem too impressive."  I paused.  I cackled.  "I cannot believe I am going on about a blood glucose meter to you because you heard about it first.  Maybe I'm falling behind.  I should blog more!  Am I losing my touch?"

We laughed and went back to our regularly scheduled silly, geeky dinner conversation.  But then...

I went back to his house to hang out so he could show me the video.  I present to you the song which will stick in your head all afternoon:

First of all, I discovered the meter actually has 23% more accuracy, something like that.  WAY more impressive than 9.  Actually, the Nano website states that their strips have "advanced tested against a 23% tighter specification."  Whatever that means exactly, there is a footnote on their site which hopefully explains it better.  Consumers are most likely hearing IT'S 23% MORE ACCURATE THAN THOSE OTHER GUYS OMG WANT. 

Second of all, the damned song got stuck in my head.  Has anyone out there ever known a blood glucose meter ad to have a catchy jingle?  Ever?  (Does not count as an ad jingle: SugaSheen and The Diabetic Rap and the Diabeetus Remix.)

Thirdly, I felt like I had heard this ditty somewhere else.  It struck me that it's stylistically similar to the theme song to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Because yes, I am that kind of geek.  Get over it.  The parody lyrics pop into my head on occasion: My Little Nano...I used to wonder 'what was my BG?'  My Little Nano...with super-duper accuracy!

As many of you may already know, Accu-Chek products are made by Roche Diagnostics, who annually gets a ton of d-bloggers together for their Diabetes Social Media Summit.  For the sake of disclosure, I have never been invited to attend the Summit, and Roche has not contacted me to talk about the Accu-Chek Nano.  This all just kind of happened.  [author's note: Don't worry, Roche--I ain't mad at ya.  While I'd love to go to the Summit sometime, I feel the diabetes community is in good hands with the people who DO attend the Summit each year.]

So now I'm curious this meter.  They've got a catchy song highlighting its best features!  A song so catchy that people without diabetes think this meter is fantastic!  The marketing communications geek in me is freaking out about how effective this ad seems to be, even though I have no evidence that it's made an impression on anyone besides my friend Mike and me.

"I think you need one," he said.

"They do make it seem pretty fancy," I said.

If anybody out there in DOC-land is using one, I'd love to know your impressions.


  1. Well, I am in the process of switching to the Nano. The decision has more to do with the fact that Accu-Chek is on the formulary of my (somewhat) new healthplan and Bayer Contour isn't, although I could choose between Accu-Chek or OneTouch. I do like non-coding meters, and I also learned a bit more about the accuracy thing. The claim is legit, although as you note, the improvement is not huge. Having said this, the accuracy range is not an FDA mandate but determined by the Switzerland-based multinational organization known as The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and those standards permit manufacturers +/- 20% deviation from actual clinical laboratory tests for blood glucose levels (see my post at for more on that). The new meter does adhere to the standard a bit more tightly than some others, but it's still not as great as I'd like to see things and I think they need to be more accurate at the low-end, but it's a move in the right direction.

    I've received supplies and will be using the Nano when my Contour strips are used up (soon, I have only a few boxes left). My use has been mainly trials so far. On the product itself, it's fine though I'm not crazy about the storage case as it uses a flimsy elastic band to hold the meter in place rather than a sturdier clear plastic casing, but beyond that, I'd say the product is a competent competitor.

  2. Hannah, I've been using one for a while and wrote about it. Also wrote about losing it... twice in a week and a half. Anyway, the readings were almost always a little higher than my previous meter (Contour), but I always try to get a gauge of the old vs. new through side-by-side testing, then use what I'm seeing from the new meter as the "new normal". Good luck with your research!

  3. I love singing that song when I am around other people with diabetes. Oddly enough, no one ever joins in with me :(

  4. Thanks Hannah! Now I've got that song stuck in my head...

  5. Anonymous9:39 AM

    It's not that it's catchy. It's that the damned thing is marketed towards pre-teen girls. Which is really a statement about the sad world we live in.


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