Diabetes and Web Development, improving my quality of life!

Zack Claar
Jun 4 · 3 min read

So I have been having a particularly rough time coming up with a non-generic idea for a final project here at FlatIron School. I have some good ideas and some really bad ones and there is no way to determine the most efficient way of coming up with good ideas, and a really unfortunate situation came up yesterday that led to a great idea. First I will give some background to the situation, then myself, and talk about why I think this is a great idea.

So I am a type 1 diabetic. I have to manage my blood sugar with insulin and basically take a shot every time I put a piece of food into my mouth (with a few exceptions like pure meat/some vegetables depending on the portion). I also have to take one shot of insulin every 24 hours to manage what is called basil insulin, i.e. the insulin needed every hour of the day to bring down your blood sugar that just naturally rises regardless of carbohydrate intake. The only way for me to analyze my dose amount and timing is by conglomerating hand written data.

Because I am a student right now and unemployed, my health insurance (especially for someone with a chronic condition and the lack of a generic insulin has pushed up my monthly insulin bill to $200+) is not particularly the best, I cannot afford/have been fighting with my insurance to pay for an insulin pump. It is an insane quality of life increase and the ability to administer the amount of insulin you give yourself 10 TIMES more accurately than a shot is just incredible. insulin pumps normally sit in your pocket or belt loop like the picture below.

Insulin pump with mainline to fatty tissue for insulin absorption.

Also what is great about these pumps is that you can connect them via USB to a computer and download all of the data about administration and whatnot. Because of my financial situation and my insurance I literally cannot afford the luxury of having this data at my fingertips and having the ability to fine tune my dosages (something that literally makes me feel better day to day).

I forgot to take my long acting insulin yesterday and actually had to go home from school. Generally what happens when my blood sugar reaches those dangerous levels is my body rejects whatever is in my stomach and I have a nice quiet afternoon of sitting on the floor of my bathroom vomiting in my toilet. But strangely enough, that is when my idea sat in. Instead of keeping all of these paper records of my blood sugar and whether or not I took my Lantus (long acting insulin) I could take this form below

And digitize it! Make it into an application that even allows me to conglomerate and analyze trends in my blood sugar to make better decisions in dosage changes and look at all the metadata! I can use what I am learning right now to better improve my quality of life!

I am super excited for this project and will probably make another blog post afterwards to talk about what I learned and if it actually helped (which I am mostly positive it will for me… that is until I get a job with decent insurance and can afford a quality insulin pump without fighting insurance representatives about improving my quality of life with a medical device that will cost them money.

Zack Claar

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