On September 30th, Diabetes Canada held the 2017 Type 1 Expo in Vancouver. I went representing Connected In Motion, and I learned so much. Notably, I learned about stem-cell research that is going on at UBC, bolusing for Fat-Protein Units, super bolusing, and OPEN APS. I had heard about all of these things before, but there is something about being in a room full of like-experiencing individuals that makes you really listen and hear the call to action.
I have decided to create my own artificial pancreas.
At the event, during a seminar about diabetes distress with Dr. Tricia Tang, someone mentioned their frustration with diabetes technology, “We have phones that can unlock using our faces but our pumps look the same as they did 10 years ago.” I think this is a bit of an exaggeration, I mean the Medtronic 760G exists now! BUT it gets at the greater point which is, the technology exists to automate diabetes management and we aren’t using it. Talk about lighting a fire under my butt.
For those who don’t know, OpenAPS is a project that uses a small computer to integrate a continuous glucose monitor with an insulin pump. It takes into account insulin that has already been taken (insulin on board) and changes insulin dosing to keep blood glucose levels in a specific range. Think of it as cruise control for blood glucose levels.
Previously, when I heard about the Open APS I was under the impression that it was only able to integrate the Dexcom G4 with pre-Veo Medtronic pumps. As an Enlite user, I wasn’t super stoked to doll out more $$ for this hack project and switch to Dexcom. The options for getting started on the Open APS system are numerous, and if that was a barrier for you as well, I highly encourage checking out this link.
The journey begins.
While I wait for the parts that I ordered to come in I’m going to do a little bit of crowdfunding with my university community. Not only will it help me pay for the supplies necessary (and import taxes…. grrrr…) but it will also spread awareness and keep me on track with my goal because loads of people will learn about the project. I’m also hoping to spread my frustrations with the non-T1D community, but we’ll see how that goes.
Until then, wish me luck. I have a bubble tea drive to prepare for.
(image courtesy of Simon Rochfort Photography)