When Dana Lewis was 14 years old, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and that’s when her interest in the pancreas and how it functions in the body began. While there’s technology like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGM) that help people manage type 1 diabetes, Lewis quickly learned the drawbacks associated with the fact that these devices don’t communicate with each other and are not automated; those dealing with type 1 diabetes still have to do a lot of work to manage their condition.
This compelled Lewis to leverage open source code so that she could access her glucose data in real time from her devices, build a set of predictive alarms that would alert her to impending events related to her glucose levels, and create an algorithm which would allow for her insulin pump and CGM to interoperate in a closed loop system and communicate with a phone or computer in order to tell her when she needed more or less insulin. Enjoying the relief from having access to this technology, Lewis wanted to share what she’d created with everyone who could benefit from it.
She joins the podcast today to discuss why this technological capability has not already been made available in the health care sector, the challenges inherent in the development and widespread implementation of this type of technology, the details behind how the closed-loop system works, the results of studies looking at the effectiveness of the system she’s built, misconceptions about how insulin pumps work, how the technology has drastically improved her sleep, level of energy, and clinical outcomes, and much more.
Tune in for the full conversation and visit https://openaps.org/ to learn more.