Strange Loop

September 12-14 2019

/

Stifel Theatre

/

St. Louis, MO

Register for 2019!

Building an Open Source Artificial Pancreas

Have you ever thought about what open source software or hardware could achieve? What if it could help improve people's lives by solving some of their health problems?

After the medical tech industry kept promising a system to help automatically manage insulin for type 1 diabetic people and never delivering, some people got together to find ways to do it with the tech they already had. Over the past few years, a "closed-loop" system has been developed to algorithmically regulate people's blood sugars. After reverse engineering bluetooth sensors and 915 MHz insulin pumps, the system became possible. As a diabetic, I also built this system and saw my sugar values stabilize much more than I could ever achieve doing it manually myself. Now I'm working on contributing back to the projects as well.

I want to talk about this system, from a technical side as well as a personal side. I'll talk about OpenAPS (the open artificial pancreas system) and how it works, what problems it solves, and its safety and security concerns. I also want to show how it's helped me, and what this means for my health now and in the future. I ultimately want to show how we, as software developers, can change people's lives through the code we write.

Sarah Withee

Sarah Withee

Sarah Withee is a polyglot software engineer, international public speaker, and hardware/robot tinkerer in Pittsburgh, PA. She also is currently the Director of Programming for Abstractions conference. She's had a passion for tech since writing her first program in first grade. She captivates audiences with both popular and powerful technical and anecdotal talks. She gives workshops to teach programming and hardware building to women in tech, as well as to students of all ages. She's also mentored youth robotics teams to championships, organized 6 conferences, been on a Google Year in Search video, and started the viral hashtag #SpeakerConfessions.