Community Stories Health

DIY Meets Biomed: Huntsville Native Creates Artificial Pancreas

One Huntsville native is making us proud. Dana Lewis, a 2006 Grissom High School graduate, recently created the first artificial pancreas to help people with diabetes. Now she’s helping others do the same. 

Dana, who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was younger, used an insulin pump and glucose pump during her time at the University of Alabama and post-grad job in Seattle, according to al.com.

It was still troubling at night because she was a deep sleeper who had trouble waking up when her insulin levels were off. She needed a way to get the information off of her glucose monitor and into a device with a louder alarm. That’s when she took her training at the University of Alabama and put it to use in the biomedical world. 

Dylan Lancaster, founder of Dylan’s Dogs for Diabetes, also worried about not waking up. He raises money for diabetic alert dogs that are trained to wake up the person if their blood sugar level gets low.

Instead of animals, Dana took the tech route. She developed an artificial pancreas that adjusts her insulin pump whenever her levels get off track. Then, she took it one step further and published the instructions online so other people could build their own device. You can find out more about how to build your own pancreas here. 

Dana has been interviewed by media outlets around the world, even speaking to the European Parliament about her invention. Check out the interview below for more information on her invention.

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About the author

Jessie Harbin

Jessie is a newlywed living in Meridianville with her husband and three dogs. She’s learning to sail on their 26-foot sailboat in Guntersville. At the time of publication, nobody has fallen ill because of her cooking.

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