Ultra Low Cost Insulin Pump

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The World Health Organization estimates that in 2013, 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. An insulin pump has been shown to greatly improve the control of blood sugars and the health of diabetics, yet the cost remains out of reach to nearly all.

Currently, commercial insulin pumps cost between $5000 and $6000. This project explores how an individual could manufacture an insulin pump using approximately $50 (retail cost, quantity=1) of readily available materials. Manufacturers could be expected to lower this cost greatly through wholesale pricing and economies of scale.

This project is intended to show proof of concept that an ultra-low-cost insulin pump is feasible, and it is not intended to design an “Insulin Pump Kit.”

This will be accomplished by leveraging commercially available components, open source hardware, open source software, and creative commons (CC) stereolithography (STL) designs. The use of open-licensed components would make it available to any manufacturer or individual worldwide.

Materials, software, and STL designs have been sourced by the author within the given budget, and a prototype is in development. All development will be made public under open source and creative commons licensing. The author will not sell completed devices, nor monetize licenses to the design.

Lowering the cost of the insulin pump would make the benefits of this technology accessible to the worldwide community.


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  • Name:
    Russ Northrup
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