A new DIY kit has surfaced on the horizon, and it is taking the medical world by storm. Nightscout is an open source platform developed and run entirely by a global community of type 1 diabetics. The motivation behind it – the same every DIY project has – they want to take matters into their own hands!
Open source projects mean they are freely available for anyone to utilize and modify, but they will do it at their own risk. This has been the trend with the diabetics patients for years now, and increasingly we hear about their frustration over the conventional methods and their drawbacks. This includes a loosely regulated method of the intake of insulin, a potentially harmful substance if taken in large quantities. Also, the unsafe and rigorous method of checking the blood sugar level by pricking also adds to their woes.
Hence the introduction of Nighscout’s product is only natural. It is a commercial product called a Continuing Glucose Monitor (CGM), which is programmed to provide constant updates about the blood sugar level of a patient. It also contains a DIY transmitter and the open-source Nightscout programming code, which allows the CGM data to be transferred and shared with a cloud data storage service.
It gives incredible freedom and peace of mind to the patients, knowing that they will get 24 hours real time updates on their blood sugar level. This means the once wary and hesitant to being adventurous patients can now be pro-active and worry free to go about their daily business.
Here’s an infographic on how this technology works:
But ofcourse, this technology is not without its risks. It is an open source software doing estimated calibrations. Since it not an approved algorithm it certainly cannot and should not be trusted with closed eyes. It is simply not going to be exactly the same as the proprietary algorithms.
So it is a bittersweet situation for the patients and their families, but when comparing pros with cons – the only logical decision is to embrace this technology. Its advantages are also highlighted when compared with similar commercial products like Dexcom G5 apps which only work with Apple devices and are really expensive, costing thousands of pounds each year.
Watch a video on how this incredible technology works:
Do you think these sort of DIY projects are making a difference in the world?