Diabetes patients who hacked the pancreas. Find out more
Many Americans have diabetes which may be a result of many years of bad food pyramids recommending fat-free foods that were loaded with sugar.
I found a fascinating story about a number of tech-savvy diabetes patients who collectively were able to take existing technology and with the help of the companies who manufacture the device, made it work as the pancreas does.
The pancreas controls insulin release and for diabetics who rely on dosing themselves via injection, having a small device they wear on their body like a beeper can help them take insulin and monitor it more accurately. Unfortunately, there was no device to read their insulin levels and dose it automatically. This lack of coordination made keeping their insulin levels difficult and disruptive in their daily lives.
Now, with the help of these diabetic pioneers who hacked the device and understood its signals, they were able to make the devices automatically dose them as needed which is a huge breakthrough. This is the story of how they created an artificial pancreas.
Check out the story below
The diabetes patients who hacked a pancreas
Our medical devices didn’t work together. So we cracked the code ourselves.
By Paul Heltzel
One day in spring 2019, pictures of children started to appear on an online support group for diabetics. Some of the kids were dancing. Some were on the playground. All were proudly showing off a medical device: an insulin pump decorated with a circle scrawled in green magic marker.
The symbol represented a life-changing development for diabetics and their families — and the culmination of a sprawling, self-directed hacking project. Dozens of people had spent hundreds of hours creating a device that could control a modern, widely-available insulin pump: a do-it-yourself artificial pancreas.
Multiple university studies showed an artificial pancreas could be a game-changer for keeping blood sugars in check and helping lessen the dangers of diabetes. Yet the wheels of the marketplace — and FDA approval — grind slowly. So while diabetics anxiously awaited the release of commercial systems, tech-savvy diabetics, and their loved ones worked on do-it-yourself systems.