The Sof-Tac has been discontinued. This page is provided for historical information.
The Precision Sof-TacTM meter allows you to test your blood sugar from sites such as your forearm, upper arm, or the base of your thumb using only one device. The Sof-Tact combines the lancing device and meter into one automated device, making it the largest and most expensive blood glucose meter on the market. Because of its large size, you'll almost certainly have to have another meter to take with you when you're out and about. As of 2005, the Sof-Tac has been discontinued.
To test, you open the bottom of the device and insert the lancet, then insert the test strip. When the meter indicates that it's ready, you place the device on the area from which you want to obtain the sample, such as your forearm. You then press the blue button. You'll feel the sensation of a vacuum being created. You must keep the meter still, held in place. In about 5 seconds, the lancet lances the skin and collects the blood, which collects on the glucose test strip. Twenty seconds later, your blood glucose reading is displayed. Testing is virtually painless.
The initial set-up of the device is a bit complicated, but use of the meter is quite simple. While intended for people who want alternative site testing, you can obtain blood from a fingertip and apply it to the test strip. One problem with the device is that blood from the tester often collects on both the inside and outside of the gasket where the sample is applied, and this requires cleaning. Also, it left perforation marks or slight, small bruises on the arm of our tester.
Even though testing was relatively painless, the Sof-Tact is not the ideal alternative site monitor because of its relatively large blood volume requirement. Obtaining the required 2-3 microliters from the forearm was not always easy. (Other alternative site meters require from one-third to one-tenth the volume of blood as the Sof-Tact.) One reader who uses the Sof-Tact reports that changing the lancet each time is essential to getting the correct blood volume. The meter is also much larger than other meters and somewhat awkward to handle for very small hands. The internal lancing and blood application also means that the meter requires cleaning.
Key features of the Sof-Tact include:
- 450 test memory
- Averages for 7, 14, and 28 days
- Data port to connect to a computer
- Sample size of 2-3 microliters
- Testing is completely automatic and the lancing is hidden
- You can pre-load the meter with a test strip and test up to 8 hours later
So what is the verdict on the Sof-Tact? If you're looking for an alternative site meter, there are other meters that require significantly less blood and which are much easier to use. If you test often, there are less expensive products. However, if you are visually impaired or have limited dexterity, or are very frightened by the process of testing, the automated testing process of the Sof-Tact makes testing simple and easy. The Sof-Tact might be a reasonable meter for adults with diabetes who test occasionally or for kids who are really frightened by testing, but there are other products that better meet the needs of most children with diabetes.
- Ease of use: 8 (involved process)
- Features: 10 (450 memories; 7, 14, and 28 day averages; data port; 9V battery; alternative site)
- Speed of results: 7 (20 seconds)
- Suitability for use by children under ten years old: 2 (other products preferred)
- Suitability for use by children over ten years old: 7 (other products preferred)
- Cost: 1 (about US$78 per 100; $1,1398/year @ 4 tests/day)
- Overall Rating: 35
Abbott Diabetes Care
1360 South Loop Road
Alameda, CA 94502
Sof-Tact meter and logo
A child demonstrating the use of the Sof-Tact meter, showing its size. Photo from MediSense
The testing process of the Sof-Tact meter. Photo from product packaging
Last updated September 22, 2007
The reviews of products are the opinion of children with DIABETES. Each product is reviewed with a single purpose: to determine if the product is suitable for use by children with type 1 diabetes, their parents, and, to a lesser degree, adults with type 1 diabetes. There are many products aimed at adults with type 2 diabetes that are not appropriate or suitable for children or adults with type 1 diabetes.
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