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Dana M. Lewis
Most Creative People 2017

Dana M. Lewis

Founder, OpenAPS

For hacking together an "artificial pancreas"

Frustrated by commercially available monitoring devices, members of the diabetes community have for years used open-source software to make their own tweaks, such as setting a smartphone alarm to go off when blood sugar levels drop at night. “That made us think, What else could we do?” says OpenAPS founder Dana Lewis, who has type 1 diabetes. Three years ago, she and her now-husband leveraged a Raspberry Pi minicomputer, a suite of existing medical devices, and dozens of lines of software code to monitor her blood sugar levels and automatically adjust insulin delivery. In 2015, they posted the code for their “artificial pancreas” online for anyone to use, and OpenAPS took off. To date: More than 250 people have used the tool to build their own systems for type 1 diabetes, and many have joined Lewis in the #wearenotwaiting movement to pressure manufacturers to be more responsive. “Patients are changing the innovation pipeline,” she says. “These technologies have to be ready faster.” 

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