Nightscout: hacking measuring devices for your own child

With the help of the crowd, the father of a child with Type 1 diabetes mellitus developed a new software for a standard device that wasn’t meeting the needs of his family.

With the help of the crowd, the father of a child with Type 1 diabetes mellitus developed a new software for a standard device that wasn’t meeting the needs of his family. In 2013, the family began to use a glucose monitoring system that measures the blood-sugar levels of their diabetic child every five minutes.

The data was incredibly important for the family, but unfortunately the device had no real-time mobile transmission capabilities. And so the parents couldn’t, for instance, monitor the blood-sugar levels while their child was in school. The father, a software developer, designed a mobile solution with which he could receive the data on his cell phone. He shared his experiences on Twitter. The global community that grew around the project released the software as an open source code, refining it and even the corresponding hardware. The Nightscout project has subverted the usual top-down approach of healthcare solutions. Instead of waiting for further technical developments, the sick child’s father took the innovation into his own hands, making an important contribution for countless other people.

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