Can a new blood test brand break into the UK market? We speak
to the meter's designer and ask, why now?
MADE TO MEASURE
Fve years ago Roger Lai
started up his company,
and is now looking to
bring a new range of
meters into Europe working with UK
distributor Diabetes Care Technology and
starting with a launch of the Advocate
blood test meter in the UK early 2015.
The big question is why? On the face of it,
it's not a particularly new or funky-looking
meter and it's coming into a crowded
market place - there's something like 40
meters already available in the UK.
"That may be so," says Roger, "but
the fact remains that the testing of the
accuracy of our meter has been rigorous
and it matters because not all meters are
what they appear. Some give 'happy'
By that he means that it's a bit like
going shopping, and you might prefer to
go to the shop where you happen to fit
into a smaller size because their labels
are what you might refer to as 'forgiving'.
Says Lai, "The point is that our meters
are proven to be accurate and have
been benchmarked against industry
standards. I've done so much metertesting that I know the
positioning of each
brand in terms of whether or not it reads
too high or too low. You can infer that a
consequence of inaccurate readings,
especially a meter giving 'happy' readings
is that these could lead in the long term to
The ISO standard is like a CE mark -
you have to meet it or else you should
not be given one of those meters. The
YPI* It is a standard as regards blood
test meter accuracy for ISO standards.
The ISO standard was 15% either above
or below the YPI, and it now has to be
10% either way. Says Lai, "The Advocate
meter already qualifies for the European
ISO, however I do think there was a need
to bring in a tighter standard, so it's a
good thing that it has happened."
Before starting his own company in
the diabetes arena Lai's background
was in mathematics and data analysis
including work for Pfizer and other
big pharmaceutical companies which
sparked his interest in the medical device
market. He says, "While I was working
for these companies I heard a lot of
feedback from users about diabetes kit
and I grew to understood the cost of daily
diabetes care, from self-care to inpatient
and outpatient care. I saw an opportunity
to improve what was already available. I
worked on a wish list for the meter and
He has chosen Diabetes Care
Technology as his partner in the UK.
Diabetes Tech previously introduced the
Needlebay range to the UK, along with
a pen needle offering, and which wants
to expand in the diabetes arena. Lai has
already launched in America where the
Advocate meter range now accounts
for two out of the 20 blood test meters
Roger Lai, above, and his
Advocate meter, right.