WEB DESK: Andrew Calabrese, a third grader was just three years old when his pancreas gave up, rendering him with the dreaded Type-1 diabetes for life.
However, his parents Heidi and Jason didn’t gave up hope, and Jason, a software engineer by profession, developed a device that could help regulate his son’s insulin levels i.e. a robotic pancreas.
According to Wall Street Journal, Jason was able to make an artificial pancreas for his son, using the OpenAPS (Open Artificial Pancreas System), which is a free online project in order to make the APS technology widely available, so that lives could be saved and the burden of Type 1 diabetes can be reduced.
As per Oddity Central, the APS was developed by a 27 year old Dana Lewis in December 2014, a Type 1 diabetic himself. The OpenAPS provides “a safety-focused reference design, a toolset, and an open source reference implementation that can be used by any individual – or any medical device manufacturer.”
Following the instructions, Jason learnt how to use an old insulin pump to control blood glucose (BG) levels, automatically, both overnight and in between meals. The software engineer added a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to provide BG data to the pump, and command it to adjust the temporary basal rates accordingly.
Andrew finally began using OpenAPS to keep in check his insulin levels, after doctor’s approval. “OpenAPS is there when I can’t be,” Jason said. “It’s cut the time Andrew spends below 80 mg/dL in half.”
“Diabetes is dangerous anyway. Insulin is dangerous. I think what we are doing is actually improving that and lowering the risk,” he added. However, Jason admitted that this solution is still subjected to pump or tubing failures, and that the insulin dosing for meals is still needed to be done manually.
Source: Business Recorder