Thursday, 31 May 2018

No more scanning your Libre, with the BluCon NightRider

Sadly the first BluCon NightRider device I ordered way back in January 2018 got "lost" at customs. The good news is that more expensive and reliable (DHL) options are now available and I received my goods with a new order within a week. The NightRider comes in a small blue box, with a one pager instruction manual and a pin that can be used to reset it.
How does it work? The BluCon device fits on top of a Libre sensor. It uses one CR2032 battery. A waterproof version is also now available. Every 5 minutes the BluCon device scans the Libre sensor and sends the data to your phone via bluetooth. There is an official phone application (LinkBluCon) from Ambrosia, but I prefer to use xDrip+ instead. With xDrip+ and with the official application, remote monitoring of the user is possible. You can scan the sensor with the standard Libre Reader without any interference from the BluCon device. In the photo you can see the Libre reader on the right and my phone running xDrip+ on the left.
Physically the BluCon is a bit bulky, and you need to find a way to keep it stuck to the sensor, otherwise it will fall off. I'm using the waterproof version, so I simply put a tegaderm plaster over it and it has been working like that for the whole 14 days of the sensor without any problems.

In the photo below you can see the Dexcom G5 transmitter (top left), G4 transmitter (top right), BluCon (bottom left) and Libre Sensor (bottom right).

Pro's of the BluCon:
  • It turns your Libre system into a real CGM system.
  • You can use it with xDrip+ which means remote monitoring, alerts, speech, etc.
  • Calibrating your Libre sensor is now possible. This is a great advantage over just scanning with the standard reader.
  • Backfilling data is great. If you are away from your phone and come back much later, data get's back filled and you don't loose any of your data.
  • Once off payment. Much cheaper than buying a Dexcom transmitter every few months.
  • Use it when you want to. You can remove it at anytime and continue using it at any time. Your Libre sensor will keep on working. No worries about expensive irremovable batteries.
Cons:
  • A bit bulky. It is bigger that the other known transmitters.
  • Battery not rechargeable and it seems you need to replaced it every time you replace your sensor.
  • It took a while to get the bluetooth to connect, I had to reset the BluCon several times. Once it worked, it worked well.
Update on my leg: I can walk with two legs, but every step hurts. It takes time for the body to get used to the steel and screws. Eagerly waiting for my 6 month x-ray next month, hoping that the bone grew back as it should. NB: Try to never break your femur, never ever ever.

4 comments:

  1. I used the Blucon for 12 weeks, great first step but now I have the Miao Miao I am fully happy as it solves some of the noted issues that Blucon has....

    1. Bluetooth reliability
    The Miao Miao is extremely reliable in my tests with iPhone 7.
    The Nightrider was not bad, but could quite easily lose connection, where sometimes you would be able to reconnect using the BluCon App but not always so frequently had to reset the device... not something you want to do in the middle of a busy day :(

    2. Placement
    The Nightrider is 10 gram and is placed on top of the sensor, and if used with tape or velcro it would be quite a thick bubble on your arm.
    The Miao Miao is 7 gram and sits nicely next to the sensor, partly covering it but only enough to make NFC contact. And yes, leave no spaces in between.
    The Nightrider does not come with any way to attach it, so you need some way to attach it... velcro or tape or a holder/armband
    The Miao Miao comes with good quality stickers that both stick well to your arm and very good on the sensor too.
    Overall, the impact of the sensor and device with the Miao Miao is much less than Nightrider.
    One other advantage of the Miao Miao, it leaves the air hole on the sensor uncovered... not sure that makes much difference but it might be better for the skin and leave less irritation perhaps.

    3. Waterproof
    Very important detail, and yes there is a waterproof version of the Nightrider but it is 50 dollars more expensive than the normal one (110 vs 165 dollars)
    Also Nightrider uses a cap to close and waterproof the device... The Miao Miao is fully closed and less risk for water to come into the device I would say.

    4. Rechargable
    The Miao Miao is rechargable by USB, this can even be done whilst wearing it and charging is very quick too.
    The Miao Miao has more capabilities to indicate battery level. The Nightrider can only indicate that the battery is about dead, until then it will always show 100% !

    5. Extra costs

    In my experiences, Nightrider usually comes with quite a bit of extra cost (taxes) I think I paid like 25 euro extra.
    Most Miao Miao devices appear to be shipped differently, resulting in no extra cost from what I hear (no guarantees on this...)

    And to end, the guys producing Miao Miao actually do listen to their customers... and improve based on feedback (stickers, making charging cables ordeable etc.)

    See Kamil's review comparison here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8gNOJGsFiM

    Cheers !

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  2. I used miaomiao for 3 months and always had bluetooth connectivity issues and battery issues all the time. Made mistake of buying that. Now I am using nightrider blucon for 6 months and never had any issues, ambrosia have app for patient as well as caregiver so need to worry about apps. I did not have to pay any customs duty when I bought nightrider

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  3. Hey Folks, I saw couple of comments on MM and Nightrider. Hmm I must say Nightrider doesn't harm skin where as I saw many blogs and youtube videos where people have complaint about rash on skin as MM touch the skin on the other hand Nightrider doesn't touch skin so no chance of skin allergy. I haven't tried non of them though, but I mentioned as blogs and other social media says.

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  4. It was one of the saddest days of my life when I got to know that I am diabetic. At first, it was way difficult for me to manage my blood glucose level, but then I purchased the BluCon device. It is really convenient to use it with any Libre Sensor and helps me to always keep an eye on my glucose values.

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