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Amazing Dad Builds Robotic Pancreas for His Son

(Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Wall Street Journal)

Third-grader Andrew Calabrese of San Diego, California has Type 1 diabetes. Everywhere he goes, he carries with him a robotic pancreas to regulate his blood sugar.

Designs for these machines exist, but the Food and Drug Administraton won't approve them for manufacture. So Andrew's father, Jason Calabrese, built it himself. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Jason Calabrese, a software engineer, followed instructions that had been shared online to hack an old insulin pump so it could automatically dose the hormone in response to his son’s blood-sugar levels. Mr. Calabrese got the approval of Andrew’s doctor for his son to take the home-built device to school. […]

Initially, Mr. Calabrese worried about the safety of the do-it-yourself project. He built it over two months, and spent weeks testing. At first, he only tried it out on his son on weekends and at night. Once it performed well enough, he said it felt irresponsible not to use it on his 9-year-old son.

“Diabetes is dangerous anyway. Insulin is dangerous. I think what we are doing is actually improving that and lowering the risk,” Mr. Calabrese, 41, said.

Andrew's artificial pancreas is one of about 50 in the United States that individuals have built themselves.

-via Marginal Revolution

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