A Brief Timeline of DIY Diabetes Looping Technology

A Brief Timeline of DIY Diabetes Looping Technology

The true origins of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Artificial Pancreas Systems are hard to trace.

Since the discovery of insulin almost a hundred 100 years ago, individuals and families have longed for better and effective technology to manage diabetes.

This timeline will not be able to name every individual who made this dream possible. However, we should honour the work and sacrifice of countless individuals who made living with diabetes a little easier.  

I would also like to mention The Open Project, which after three years of ongoing research is coming to an end. The Open Project brings together an international and intersectoral consortium of patient innovators, clinicians, social scientists, computer scientists, and patient advocacy organizations in order to investigate various aspects of Do-it-Yourself Artificial Pancreas Systems (DIYAPS).

If you find any discrepancies, have any important data, or you just want to say hi, please write to hello@thediabeticsurvivor.com 🙂


Nightscout (2013)

The Nightscout project gave a formative shape to the #wearenotwaiting movement. It all started when John Costik, the Father of a young child with diabetes developed a simple code to access his child’s CGM values in real-time through a cloud infrastructure. 

The project grew exponentially as thousands of parents and PWDs frustrated by the slow pace of advancement in the medical industry joined in from around the globe.

OPENAPS (2015)

In 2014, Dana Lewis became the first PWD to be able to close the Loop. Picking up from the progress made by the Nightscout project and from the works of individuals like Ben West (Reverse Engineered a Medtronic Pump), Dana was able to transmit her CGM data to a microcomputer connected to her pump. 


This microcomputer had decision algorithms that could instruct the insulin pump automatically based on the CGM data. In 2015, Dana Lewis shared the roadmap of her achievement to the world in the form of an open source project called “OpenAPS”.

Loop (2016)

In 2016, Nate Racklyeft came up with a brilliant innovation to host a DIY looping system on an Iphone. He managed to develop an IOS application that could receive real-time CGM data and use prediction algorithms to instruct the insulin pump. I suggest watching this great YouTube channel to learn more about Loop.

Riley Link

Nate used a “Riley Link” to transmit the signals from the application to the pump. The Riley Link was a small transmission device that allowed external devices to send signals to an insulin pump. 

AndroidAPS (2016)

Nate’s innovation was a big milestone, but it was only limited to IOS devices. In mid 2016, Milos Kozak and others developed the AndroidAPS project. AndroidAPS uses algorithms to adjust insulin dosages based on real-time glucose readings, and it is compatible with several devices. AndroidAPS became the first open-source artificial pancreas system that was compatible with android devices. 

CAMAPS FX (2020)

Developed by University of Cambridge, CAMAPS is an advanced “Hybrid closed-Loop” System. It uses machine learning algorithms to adjust insulin dosages based on real-time glucose readings and other factors such as food intake and physical activity. CAMAPS is designed to be highly personalised, and it has been shown to improve glucose control and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia in clinical trials.

Commercial Systems

While the #wearenotwaiting movement was in full swing with the open source projects. Companies like Medtronic and Tandem were also busy in developing a commercial closed loop artificial pancreas system to market. 

Medtronic 670G (2017)

In 2017, Medtronic became the first company to receive FDA approval for a commercial Hybrid Closed Loop insulin delivery system. The Medtronic 670G system consists of the Minimed 670G insulin Pump and the Guardian 3 sensor CGM. The system allows users to automate the delivery of basal insulin based on CGM data. However, the Medtronic 670G is not capable of automating bolus delivery. 

Tandem Control IQ (2020)

In 2020, Tandem released its Control IQ technology on the T:Slim X2 insulin pump. The Control IQ technology allowed the T:Slim X2 to function as an advanced Hybrid Closed-Loop insulin delivery system. The Control IQ optimises insulin delivery according to the CGM readings and even automate corrective bolus doses to prevent hyperglycemia.


  1. Nightscout
  2. OpenAPS Overview and Project History
  3. The History of Loop and LoopKit. Reflecting on the past in celebration… | by Nate Racklyeft | Medium
  4. How the DIY Diabetes Community Made the Artificial Pancreas Possible
  5. The life-changing artificial pancreas
  6. MiniMed 670G Hybrid Closed Loop Artificial Pancreas System for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus: overview of its safety and efficacy.
  7. t:slim X2 Insulin Pump With Control-IQ
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