A Sweet Little Insulin Reminder Light

So much of what we do relies on a certain societal structure that has been absent for a few months now. When the days run together, it’s hard to remember to do the things that must happen daily. You think you did something, and maybe you’re right, but it’s quite possible you’re thinking of yesterday.

[Flameeyes] has diabetes and must use an insulin pen every morning without fail, no matter what’s happening outside his door. This was pretty much a non-issue in the before-time, but quickly became a serious problem as the routine-free weeks wore on. With no room for false positives, he needed a solution that doesn’t trigger until the deed is done.

Now when [Flameeyes] puts the pen away, he also triggers a Flic smart button mounted nearby. The Flic shares its status with a Feather M4 Express through a web app, and the Feather in turn changes the RGB LED inside of Pikachu’s base from red to yellow for the day. Pikachu sits in plain sight by the kettle, so there’s no guessing whether [Flameeyes] took his insulin.

Insulin is a critical commodity with a lot of DIY interest, which is probably starting to spike about now. Our own [Dan Maloney] wrote a great piece on the subject that brings up an insulin hack from around 80 years ago.

5 thoughts on “A Sweet Little Insulin Reminder Light

  1. Depending on your insulin cartridge , you could just get the novopen 4 (or the novopen echo for 1/2 unit range) , it display last number of unit and a time “range”.
    Perfect as I was having the same, “did I or.didn’t I inject myself?”
    If the cartridge don’t fit (like lantus), there’s still a hack to do it :)

  2. Well done. This is a great idea for someone (like myself) who’s a bit absent minded.

    I use an insulin pump these days and have a record of everything that’s happened, but when I was on pens this would have been very helpful. Forgetting to take your insulin is one thing, taking it twice because you forgot you already did can be very, very dangerous.

  3. This is much prettier than the one I set up to remind me to give the cat shots twice a day. For mine, I used an ESP3266, a two-line serial display and a lighted button. Every time I push the button it pushed the current time to Adafruit.io as MQTT. The display would show the number of days/hours/minutes since the last button press. After 12 hours the light on the button would start blinking. So when the light’s a blinking, it’s shot o’clock. If I unplugged or rebooted the device it would read back the last value from Adafruit.io so the timer would still be right. It bought us an extra two years, so no complaints.

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