In a news demonstrating how medical science has leapfrogged, a professional dancer suffering from type-1 diabetes is India’s first person to use the DIY artificial pancreas. 26-year-old professional dancer Jazz Sethi has been a diabetes type-1 patience since the age of 13. However, recently she became the first patient in India to use the DIYP (Do-it-yourself Artificial Pancreas). As of now, there are only 1,776 people Type-1 diabetic patients who are using the DIYP, and Sethi is one of them.

The Technology

A DIYP (Do-it-yourself Artificial Pancreas) consists of insulin pumps that continuously monitors the glucose levels through CGM (continuous glucose sensors). It’s connected to open-source algorithms that is created and updated by the patients of Type-1 diabetes community.



Patients who suffer from type 1 diabetes have for years been frustrated with the pace at which medical community is bringing new advancements in its treatment. In 2016, the patient community started a #wearenotwaiting movement on Twitter. This caught the attention of the right people in medical field and existing pumps were reengineered in a better way.

Jazz Sethi, India’s first Type-1 Diabetes patient to use DIY Artificial Pancreas:

In a research paper titled- ‘Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Review’ she shared her experience of how she was struggled in managing her diabetes. Since her diagnosis, Sethi had made use of several approaches to manage her condition.

“My general quality of life has seen a drastic improvement because of looping. The absence of inter-and intraday glycemic variability itself has contributed significantly to my quality of life. My anxiety and fear of hypos have gone down. For the first time in 11 years, I feel like I don’t have to be obsessed with my diabetes. That is a genuine feeling of relief and satisfaction… I sometimes forget that I have type 1 diabetes,” Sethi said as quoted by Indian Express.

Sethi in her interview said that she is a type 1 diabetic person who’s in the dancing profession. Due to this she is prone to cardio sessions that breaks the body’s carbohydrates down. This gives a rise to high blood sugar. This caused her to feel low after her dance practice sessions.

In the past she used to suspend her insulin but then as a result of that, would see major increase in her sugar levels a few hours later.

Thanks to the DIYAP, she now controls her own sugar level. The DIYAP helps her set a target of sugar level higher than normal to avoid lows and helps her stabilize her sugar graph.

She also said that due to a lot of traveling, she had instances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) during flights with long-hauls. She had to keep medications and devices to monitor and control her sugar in the fear of such instances. But now, thanks to DIYAP, she finds herself exploring cities and cuisines without being interrupted by unstable sugar levels.

Patients cautioned to use DIYAP at their own risk: Dr. Jothydev Kesavadev

Dr. Jothydev Kesavadev spoke with Indian Express regarding the gravity of type 2 diabetes. Dr. Kesavadev is the author of a research paper ‘DIY Artificial Pancreas: A narrative of the first patient and the physicians’, and hence, country’s foremost authority on the matter.

In his interview, Dr. Kesavadev shared how Type 1 diabetes is an extremely difficult disease to treat. The insulin secretion from pancreas stops completely which results in dependence on insulin from external devices to sustain.

Dr. Kesavadev said how CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) with an insulin pump is one of the most recommended treatment. However, the doctor also cautioned that DIYAP are currently unregulated and unapproved by the medical authorities.

“Their safety and efficacy have not been evaluated in clinical trials. Concurrently, patients who opt for these systems cite ‘life-changing’ benefits. So, an ethical dilemma is faced by clinicians working with DIYAP users,” he told Indian Express.

Dr. Kesavadev mentioned how clinicians are faced with several ethical dilemmas as more people start using the DIYAP. Because of the fact that DIYAP is not currently validated by any medical authorities, the patients of Type 1 diabetes are asked by clinicians to use DIYAP at their own risk.

“Our intention here is not to recommend the use of these systems, but to make an effort to increase readers’ awareness of this technology,” Dr Kesavadev added.