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A Do-It-Yourself Revolution in Diabetes Care

February 22, 2016 by Lily Stauffer0
John Costik, right, and his son Evan reflected on an iPad’s screen. An app on the device displays Evan’s blood sugar levels in real time. Source: NY Times
John Costik, right, and his son Evan reflected on an iPad’s screen. An app on the device displays Evan’s blood sugar levels in real time. Source: NY Times

Managing type I diabetes requires tedious daily logging, a system that is far from perfect and in need of a technological face-lift. There are two primary sources for logging the data; the traditional paper forms method, and the newer continuous glucose monitors. Due to serious drawbacks with both methods, John Costik, an engineer and father of 4-year old type I diabetes patient, decided to take the system into his own hands. Costik was quoted saying, “I wanted our lives to be simple, and I wanted Evan to live a long time, and diabetes to be a nuisance, not a huge struggle”. The result? He designed a simple code that transmits the monitoring data onto a spreadsheet that can be viewed on the web, an Android mobile, and even his Pebble smartwatch. After sharing his ingenious design via twitter, he has inspired many others to concoct their own homespun solutions to their medical devices. User-driven technology is driving device innovation, and has even prompted the FDA to reclassify remote glucose-monitoring devices, hence delaying the approval process for large device companies.

To learn more about the do-it-yourself revolution, click here.

Lily Stauffer


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