Dana Lewis – Quality Talks 2020 Q&A

“The diabetes disruptor”—that’s a pretty good description for Dana Lewis. As a person with diabetes, Dana had a glucose monitor to gauge her blood sugar and another gadget to administer insulin. Both required her time and attention. At best, this could be inconvenient, but for Lewis, it was unbearable.


So she designed an open source artificial pancreas system, or as she calls it,  OpenAPS. She reprogrammed her separate tools to work together—automatically—with very little time and attention on her part.


But Lewis isn’t finished. She wanted to share her hack. She started a movement. That movement, #OpenAPS, pushes to make the hack available to everyone. She also leads the online discussion about it using the hashtag #hcsm (healthcare communications and social media). Posters use the tag to elevate the role of everyday people—patients—in the care conversation. Another hashtag, #WeAreNotWaiting, is a battle flag encouraging patients to be proactive, to hack health care when the system falls short. Diabetes disruptor? You bet. And a lot more.