Diabetes Australia believes that people with diabetes
should have choice and access to diabetes management solutions that
help them manage their diabetes to the best of their
Diabetes Australia understands that there are
technologies being used by people with diabetes that are not
approved for use by regulatory bodies, such as the Therapeutic
Goods Association (TGA).
These technologies are not commercially available and
are 'built' by individuals with diabetes for their own
This position statement is written for people living with
diabetes (and families of people living with diabetes) to provide
background information on Do It Yourself (DIY) technologies, the
potential risks and benefits of using these technologies, and what
people should expect from healthcare professionals in supporting
This position statement provides general information. Diabetes
Australia is not endorsing or recommending any of the DIY
technologies discussed in this position statement.
1. There are a growing number of people with diabetes using DIY
diabetes technology systems to help manage their type 1
2. Diabetes Australia does not endorse these technologies for
people with diabetes; they are not approved technologies and are
highly experimental. Any person using a DIY technology
solution does so at their own risk.
3. However if a person with type 1 diabetes (or a parent
or family member) chooses to build a DIY system, they must continue
to receive support and care from their diabetes healthcare
professional and the health system.
4. The emergence of DIY diabetes technologies poses concerns for
healthcare professionals, including medico-legal risks and issues
with registration and practice.
ISSUES WITH DIY TECHNOLOGIES
Any person choosing to use DIY systems does so at their own
risk. The systems are considered experimental.
No DIY system has been through any regulatory process and all
development (past and ongoing) is conducted by people in the
Australia has robust regulatory process for therapeutic devices
through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which considers
all aspects of products including safety and efficacy as part of
its approval process.
As DIY systems have not been assessed by this robust regulatory
process, there may be concerns about the safety and reliability of
However, it is also important to recognise that these systems
have been built by people with diabetes for their personal use (or
that of their children).
Safety is a major consideration for people building these
systems. It is important to note that there have been no randomised
controlled trials of DIY systems demonstrating the efficacy of the
The emergence of DIY systems poses issues for healthcare
professionals working with people with type 1 diabetes who are
using the technology.
This includes concerns that health professionals may face
medico-legal risks and issues with registration and practice. As
the systems do not have regulatory approval, health professionals
cannot recommend the use of DIY systems.
The Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes
Educators Association are currently developing advice for health
professionals regarding this issue and Diabetes Australia supports
the need for this advice.
It is important that we help health professionals work out how
to best support people with diabetes, while continuing to operate
legally and within professional guidelines. DIY systems are not for
Building and running a DIY system requires a considerable level
of health literacy.
While the instructions are 'open source' and available for
everyone, individuals must still understand the devices and the
algorithm and how it works. DIY systems are not available for
purchase - it is up to the individual user to source all of the
components required to build a system. They also have to
troubleshoot any problems.
DIABETES AUSTRALIA'S POSITION
Diabetes Australia believes that people with diabetes should be
able to choose the best management solutions for their
Diabetes Australia does not endorse DIY systems for people with
diabetes, however the inability of currently approved diabetes
management devices to 'talk to' each other is prompting people to
use DIY solutions as part of their diabetes management.
With the availability of open source software and instructions
for how to build a DIY solution on the internet, people with type 1
diabetes cannot be stopped from accessing this information, and we
need to ensure people are informed of the full range of management
options for type 1 diabetes, as well as their benefits and
We recognise that health professionals cannot recommend DIY
technologies to people with diabetes. Health professional
recommendations should be for devices that have been approved
through the regulatory process for safety and effectiveness.
However, there will always be some people who accept a level of
risk and choose to take the DIY approach. These people should
continue to receive support and care from their diabetes healthcare
professional and the health system.
It is important that we understand the medico-legal and
professional issues so that health professionals can continue to
support people with diabetes, whatever their diabetes management
Diabetes Australia supports the development of an industry
digital standard that would enable devices from different companies
to be integrated and 'talk' to each other.