28-year old Dana Lewis is a Type-1 diabetic who relies on an insulin pump to keep her blood sugar levels in check. It’s not quite as simple as wearing the pump 24-7, though. So, for the sake of her life (and sanity) she used a combination of computer skills, social media, and mail-order computer parts to turn her pump into an artificial pancreas.
The insulin pump checks her blood sugar levels every 5 minutes and alerts her when something is wrong. However, Dana could not hear her alarm while she was sleeping. This meant that she was susceptible to a diabetes crisis every time she went to sleep.
Her project began with creating a way for her pump to alarm her phone and/or her husband’s phone to wake her up to eat. From there, she was able to create an algorithm to predict what her blood sugar levels would do and how much insulin she would need at any given time when her numbers got too high. This meant that, if she needed insulin, her pump could make the adjustment for her.
Over time Dana was able to find all the parts she needed and develop the code to interact with her pump. By 2014, her creation was working completely as planned. Then, she shared her knowledge and know-how with the world so others could benefit too. For free.
DIY Pancreas System