Cloud sharing helps Type 1 diabetes sufferers share glucose levels
Marisa Baker used to have to get up every two hours to check her daughter’s sugar levels. “The stress is – well, it’s considerable. I’ve had pneumonia three times since the diagnosis, and I haven’t had an unbroken night’s sleep for years,” the former lawyer from Surrey says.
Marisa’s daughter Elouisa is one of 29,000 children – and 400,000 people – in the UK that suffer from Type 1 diabetes; a figure that is rising by 4% year on year.
Type 1 diabetes sufferers rely on constant glucose monitoring. If the levels are too low, they – or their carers – need to inject the patient with insulin. Accurate and timely monitoring is crucial, because both too little and too much insulin can be fatal. Parents often need to conduct pinprick tests on their children throughout the day and night.
There are a number of continuous-monitoring devices on the market, but they are expensive, especially if you’re looking for sharing capability so a patient’s monitor can feed data to carers.
John Costik, a software engineer and himself a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes, took it upon himself to find a better solution. Two years ago he developed Nightscout, which combines a commercial product called Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), a DIY transmitter, and the free and open-source Nightscout code that enables CGM data to be shared on a cloud, where it can be distributed to other devices like a parent’s phone or smartwatch.
While the technology has not yet been medically approved, Nightscout has been a lifesaver for over 28,000 people. “Nightscout makes my life easier, because instead of my mum testing me all the time, she just looks at her watch,” says Logan, eight. If you’d like to see how others are using Nightscout, search for the hashtag #WeAreNotWaiting.
Image courtesy of John Finn
Last updated: 02nd of August, 2016