8 Responses

  1. Tim Steinert
    Tim Steinert October 30, 2013 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    What made my ears prick up was the “1/2 unit insulin pens.” Does anyone know which types of insulin (i.e. Novolog, Humalog, Lantus) offer 1/2 unit cartridges and their availability in the U.S.?

    1. Simon Carter
      Simon Carter October 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm | | Reply

      H Tim, both Novolog (Novopen Demi?) and Humalog have 0.5 unit pens in Australia. Some patients have to argue to get them :-(

      Keep your eye out for digital insulin pens, which offer 0.1 unit increments starting from 0.5 units up. With one of these and ManageBGL you can achieve excellent control.

    2. sue whittier
      sue whittier November 1, 2013 at 11:27 am | | Reply

      Hi Tim
      Novo-Nordisk has been making the 1/2 unit pens for at least a decade – ask for- the junior pen – if it’s been availablre in Canada – I can’t imagine there would be a problem in the USofA!

  2. Lee
    Lee October 30, 2013 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    This tool is a great design, very creative! Glad to know Simon and his daughter is doing well!

  3. Benjol
    Benjol October 30, 2013 at 11:57 pm | | Reply

    “open the eyes of the insulin pump companies to what is possible”

    “educate other diabetics not to be misled by big pharma about the role of insulin pumps”

    Good luck with that…

  4. Type 1 Electrical Engineering Student
    Type 1 Electrical Engineering Student October 31, 2013 at 6:06 am | | Reply

    DiabetesMine and advocates of such technologies should start off by reading this (short) article, “Will Any Health App Ever Really Succeed?”, by Rachel Metz in the MIT Technology Review.

    Here is the link (completely accessible without a subscription):

    The MIT Technology Review very frequently has healthcare-related articles, particularly about technological advancements and healthcare emerging as an information technology–which healthcare truly will be in the future.

    Multiple recent peer-reviewed journal articles, from a variety of sources, about the JDRF-funded Artificial Pancreas Project, around the world, describe the next step in emerging the technology is adopting a data standard in order to facilitate Bluetooth communication to smartphones. The scientists, engineers, and researchers intend on developing an artificial pancreas by integrating smartphones, in whatever suitable way possible, to calculate dosages and to transmit those signals to devices and to mobile networks. With all of the money going through the product-development pipeline via the JDRF, some sort of data standard will happen, particularly geared towards hardware suited for the Artificial Pancreas Project (pump, CGM, glucose meters, mobile phone).

    I am wary of individuals independently developing a data platform for diabetes-related data. I wonder what their motivation is, and how they think that they can be successful at doing so when there are scientists, researchers, and engineers actively working on much more advanced and integrated standards (with communication protocols) like IEEE/ISO 11073, which have a set of sub-standards being developed for insulin pumps and glucose meters.

    In addition, the chances of such an individual being successful with the massive amount funding going towards the Artificial Pancreas Project, which is providing funding in development of a data standard–a development requirement for mainstream use and testing of the Artificial Pancreas Project in research–such an individual is at an extreme disadvantage. Another problem is the amount of individuals in technical backgrounds actively pursuing such a project independently, with no industry partnerships. These individuals are a commodity. An individual who expects success with such an independent project, with no key partnerships, such as with the JDRF, is comparable to a person buying a lottery tickets and expecting to win the lottery.

    I programmed one of the proposed completed algorithms for the Artificial Pancreas Project in MatLab, although the algorithm itself is outdated compared to the current algorithms used in the Artificial Pancreas Project. I ran all of my Medtronic Paradigm pump and CGM data through the algorithm. The most challenging part of the project was dealing with the proprietary set of data from my insulin pump and CGM from the CareLink Personal applet from the data export in a CSV file, believe it or not. Figuring out how the equations for the Artificial Pancreas Project were applied mathematically with the data provided from the insulin pump and the CGM was by far the easiest part of the project.

    I also need to point out that ANY engineering student, regardless of discipline (Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical, Petroleum, etc.) or knowledge about diabetes IS capable and has the training, mathematical, and programming skills to proficiently program the algorithm of the Artificial Pancreas Project, by the time the individual enters junior year at university.

    While the Artificial Pancreas Project stirs controversy among the diabetes community, the developments within this project provide a product development pipeline and partnerships for integrated diabetes management solutions, in several ways. There is innovation within this project that has been widely under-recognized, and perhaps this is the way that this should be.

    While I believe that the first true artificial pancreas will be groundbreaking, the integrated technologies that will be developed as the future products are developed will be more of an excitement to me. There is a lot of hype behind the project, and certainly insurance will deny and call the technology “experimental” when the device comes out. I can imagine the device costing $30,000 easily to whatever party is reimbursing the integrated set of technologies associated with the artificial pancreas.

  5. Simon
    Simon October 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm | | Reply

    So do you think the software could be extended for use with pump users? We have the luxury of hour-to-hour tinkering with basal rates, which might confuse things a bit, however, as a fellow engineer, I can see a darned good idea in front of me!
    (iPhone app too, please?)

  6. Type 1 Electrical Engineering Student
    Type 1 Electrical Engineering Student November 3, 2013 at 12:04 am | | Reply


    I actually never use the code to my benefit, anymore. I just programmed the project in MatLab, just to see if I could program the project. For awhile, I carried around a netbook with upload cables to run my data through the program.

    I had to do a couple of “illegal operations” for the project. The artificial pancreas uses a “correction basal” most of the time which was unfeasible in my project, so I had to sum the correction values from the initial time (the most recent/original point of displacement, where the blood glucose value exceeds the target, where the “current blood glucose excursion” started) where my BG went above target on the CGM. I also had to use a mathematical approximation (numerical methods) instead of solving for a particular solution for one of the equations using theoretical math, because there was no available function written for the called for solving technique. Therefore, I had to cross-reference a mathematical journal for a mathematical approximation and basically program a new function to put my data through in order to get to the next part/equation for the “artificial pancreas project”.


    The problem with the software being extended to pump users is that the pump basically has to be uploaded each time you run the “artificial pancreas algorithm”.

    1. In order for my “project” to work in MatLab, I have to upload the pump, CGM, and my meter to their respective “software(s)”. The advantage with something like CareLink Personal (which is really a Java applet) is that you can upload your devices in one place, which saves time.

    2. After you upload the data to the “software(s)” you have to export all of that data, for all of those devices, which is usually either in a CSV (Comma Separated Value file) or a TAB Delimited file. Sometimes you have a choice, depending on the software, sometime you do not. The data provided in the export is very proprietary and so if you pursue such a project you will have to “test” several sets of data generated from uploads to ensure that this works in your particular “program”.

    3. Importing and reading these sets of data natively can be very challenging in MatLab. So, in order to ensure my project works well with the data provided, I first open the .CSV file(s) (usually) or the .TAB file in Microsoft Excel. I save the file as an .XLS (NOT an .XLSX file!!!).

    4. I open up MatLab, dump my .XLS file with all of my data in it in the same working directory as the main.m code and the other functions associated with the “artificial pancreas project”. Obviously the name of the file has to be the same name as listed in the code. I already used the XLSREAD function in MatLab to read all of the data, and I had assigned all of the “cells” to variables. At least half of the code is dedicated to dealing with and calibrating the data so that the data can be run through the algorithm.


    In order to automatically read this data (and avoid a ton of steps), you basically have to have access to the drivers of the uploading device (not available if you ONLY have CareLink Personal–or typically other mobile uploading applets, that usually are Java-based), because the device companies will not release their APIs.

    In order to interface these drivers, your best bet is connecting devices to be uploaded via Serial connection, or else this will be near-impossible, or a huge waste of time, from what I understand about this. You will basically be reprogramming a bunch of drivers, initially, via serial interface.

    Here is a tutorial for interfacing serial devices in MatLab: (Search for it in Google)

    * “Tutorial: Serial Communication in Matlab – United States Naval Academy”

    Somebody has successfully read their Freestyle Meter into MatLab, using the serial interface. The code is here:


    I also want to point out that SINOVO/SIDIARY has basically reprogrammed the drivers of the vast majority of the diabetes-related devices that people use, so that all of a patient’s data can be uploaded to their database. I guess this is nice because individuals can access their data all in one place.


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