What a guy !? Instead of leading a healthy lifestyle, Liam Zebedee preferred to build an artificial pancreas

The hero of this story is Liam Zebedee - a programmer by profession, diabetes from genetic conditioning and a home-grown biohaker inventor from coercion. Instead of relying on American healthcare, he decided to build ... an artificial pancreas.

For what? Like all diabetics, the original Zebedee pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to transfer glucose from the blood to all cells of the human body that are currently reporting the need for insulin.

Without the supply of this hormone, cells cannot produce energy. In addition, without the presence of insulin, blood glucose increases, which in unprocessed form leads to tissue damage in the body and the resulting complications, which sooner or later begin to threaten the patient's life.

Now that we know how diabetes works ...

Diabetics don't have many options when it comes to treatment. Since their body does not produce insulin, they must supply it from outside. This can be done by a traditional method, i.e. using insulin injections, or using the so-called insulin pumps. These are quite primitive devices that provide diabetes with a constant dose of insulin programmed by the doctor.

The problem is that without constant monitoring, it is very easy to have a shortage of this hormone. Just after eating or after physical exercise, our body needs a larger dose. Without constantly checking the current demand, people with diabetes in extreme cases risk falling into a hypoglycemic coma. Of course, many patients are well aware of this and - with a view to minimizing risk - switch to a very, but very healthy and orderly lifestyle.

Instead, he preferred to build an artificial pancreas

The blog post of a home-grown biohacker shows that he likes to lead an active lifestyle and drink something alcoholic from time to time, so the standard lifestyle of a diabetic totally did not suit him. As a programmer, Zebedee came up with the idea that the solution to his insulin problems would be to create a highly automated system that delivers insulin to his body.

Someone will say: but wait, they do already insulin pumps. Yes, but they pump constant doses without taking into account changes in the patient's metabolism. So if someone does not want to adapt their lifestyle to the limitations of a regular insulin pump, then they need to remodel it.

The whole process, described in great detail, is on the Zebedee blog. The programmer based the entire system on the Intel Edison minicomputer, which manages the operation of the insulin pump, dispensing the right amount of hormone it pumps into its body. Of course, this happens automatically, thanks to the constant supervision of a sensor that monitors blood glucose levels. This means that it automatically monitors the amount of sugar in your blood and dispenses the right amount of insulin, while taking into account the effects of exercise, drinking alcohol, good sleep and unpredictable fluctuations in insulin resistance.

The ultimate goal, writes Zebedee, was to eliminate the hassle of managing diabetes and taking control of one's own health care.

I hope Zebedee will not end up building a prototype

You see that the idea of ​​building an intelligent and fully automated insulin pump, which uses insulin doses based on real-time diabetes data, doesn't sound stupid. I will say more: it sounds like one of the best ideas that could be turned into a very lucrative, medical startup. Zebedee has virtually everything it needs to build intelligent insulin pumps for other diabetics.

He knows exactly what components he needs, he created a working and stable version of the software from which data is also displayed wirelessly on his smartphone. There is no catchy name, nicer packaging for all equipment and ... that's about it.

PS Fans of open-source will certainly be pleased that Zebedee artificial pancreas works under Jubilinux.

What a guy !? Instead of leading a healthy lifestyle, Liam Zebedee preferred to build an artificial pancreas


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