I recently received a CardioChek portable blood test system from Polymer Technology Systems. The gadget is used to test your blood for a number of different things including Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides.
I'm only 22 years old, skinny, and tend to live off of pizza and whatever I can cook in the microwave, so I don't really care about my cholesterol. I thought about how exactly to test out this product, as this would be my first medical gadget that I've reviewed. After consulting one of my fellow writers, I decided that since the target audience for this product would not be the 20-something age group, I would need to find a someone else to help me out.
I found a family member that was willing to help, and just happened to have been recently told by her doctor that she needs to be keeping an eye on her cholesterol. This is perfect, since my unit had the Cholesterol MEMo Chip.
To achieve the most realistic results, I did not read through the instructions prior to giving it to her, and left her to perform the test without any assistance. The first thing that I noticed is that she had a booklet and two different sheets of paper that she kept looking at (and I heard a good little bit of grumbling). In all, she spent about 30 minutes pouring over the instructions and running the test.
Once she had taken the test and received her results, she was pleased to find out that her cholesterol wasn't as high as she feared. However, while she was happy to hear that, she wasn't happy with all of the instructions she had to read. She did not find them easy to go through on the first round, and did get frustrated with them on more than one occasion. She would have liked to see it all contained in one booklet, rather than having two extra sheets to look at.
I asked her if her doctor recommended she check her cholesterol levels more regularly if she would consider using the CardioChek. To my surprise she said she would. I thought after hearing her grumbling over the instructions she wouldn't want to use it again. However, while the instructions were frustrating the first time around, the unit is fairly simple to operate and she wouldn't have a problem using it again.
In the end, the CardioChek might seem a bit daunting when you first look over the instructions, but it's really simple to operate. There are only about 6 steps to go through, and are listed on the back of the box as a quick reference. You can pick up the CardioChek for around $120, and the various test strips and MEMo Chips are sold separately.