The looping chronicles: building an artificial pancreas, is it as hard as it sounds?

For Android Aps – the looping app – you need an Android mobile phone, a CGM (continuous glucose monitor), a compatible pump… And you have to build the app yourself. To me that sounded super difficult, as stated in my last instalment, I am not a tech wiz. I’d heard that building the app for android aps could be “super easy” or a “pain in the ass” and honestly it was somewhere in between both for me.

Firstly I setup a Nightscout account, which is an open source DIY project that allows real time access to CGM data and required for the APS setup. There is a step-by-step guide and is pretty easy to setup. Then I decided late one night that I would start building the APS app and ended up staying up till the sun came up trying to get past one of the steps. Once I put my mind to something I am determined to get it finished but I gave up. I’d love to tell you how I got past that step but I went to sleep and when I woke up it miraculously was working. There are step by step instructions and if you follow them to the letter, it is fairly straightforward. It’s really important to read all the docs  and have all your rates figured out – your insulin to carb ratio, basal rates, sensitivity factor ect – before embarking on your journey.

I setup the app only a few days after starting on the Dana insulin pump, even though I had no intention of looping for a while. I wanted to get used to the insulin pump first and mentally prepare myself to start my looping journey. I waited 3 months until I was finally ready to hand over control to the loop. Stay tuned for the next instalment in the looping chronicles…

Looping is DIY, not regulated and at your own risk. You should always consult with your medical professional. Although my diabetic consultant cannot recommend looping he is supportive of patients who make that decision on their own.

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