Beacon Transcript – Diabetes is a disease which forces its sufferer to be on constant alert, but thanks to the DexDrip and a community made up of patients and hackers alike diabetes sufferers are one step closer to living a more normal life.
As diabetes is prompted by the patient’s body inability to produce insulin, a person suffering from this disease has to be on a constant watch out for their sugar level, the insulin intake needed in order to break down the respective sugar, and also their carbohydrate intake.
A too high or too low sugar level may prompt grave complications, both on the long and the short term, complications including comas, heart diseases, and other possibly fatal complications. As such glucose level have to be constantly checked out.
As the technology available meant carrying around a device that had to be plugged into a computer so as to be able to see the data Emma Black, a diabetes patient who was encumbered by the outdated tech, set out and established a project called DexDrip.
The DexDrip project set out to link one’s glucose meter via Bluetooth to a cell phone so as to enable an easier access to the information. The project is sustained by a community of hackers, that calls itself Nightscout, and which consists of groups or stand-alone members that set out to help the diabetes sufferers have a better, safer, easier life.
With the required tools getting better over the years, diabetes patients have been requesting more useful devices that could help them manage the chronic disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) having recently approved the commercialization of a closed-loop system that is to automatically administer glucose to the wearer based on their sugar levels, but the device is available, at the moment, solely for Type 1 diabetes.
Higher authorities are reluctant in releasing this type of devices as each body is different to the other and a miscalculation could bring about grave consequences. But independent users have been freely and creatively tweaking and twisting the available devices.
As the technology needed for diabetes patients seems to be finally catching up to the days’ innovations, with legal software available for glucose level phone readings, new types of insulin and the first “artificial pancreas” to be approved by the FDA, patients such as the aforementioned Black still consider that the hacking communities will live on.
The various online communities offer support both in learning how to better use the current technology and in learning useful software and hardware hacks that could potentially improve their everyday life.
The fact stands that communities prove an actual help in developing new features, just as the Dexdrip and also, and possibly more importantly, it signals their wish and availability to help themselves and others in their common fight against the disease.
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