The first two feedback systems I have looked at or designed relate to diabetes. The final one is for a cruise control system on a car.
1. Closed-loop insulin pump system
Researchers are taking several different approaches to cure diabetes. Some are aimed at prevention. Others are new forms of treatment that rely on either a medical or technological solution.
There are a range of medical treatment options, such as the use of stem cells to replace damaged pancreas cells. Technological solutions aim to replicate the normal automatic systems in a non-diabetic. What was often called an artificial pancreas is more often referred to as a closed-loop insulin pump system. It combines an insulin pump for medication delivery with a continuous glucose monitor to measure blood sugar level.
There are currently two competing closed-loop systems. One controls the delivery of insulin based on fluctuations in blood sugar. The second controls both insulin and glucagon delivery. Insulin is usually produced in the pancreas and glucagon in the liver. Insulin has the effect of lowering blood sugar levels, while glucagon raises them. Those who favor the latter system believe that insulin alone cannot adequately moderate blood sugar level, especially in a situation of rapidly dropping blood sugar.
2. Nutritional guide system for diabetics
This is a system I am considering for my final project. It aims to provide a solution for diabetics to keep their blood sugars under control after meals. It would aggregate nutritional information (most importantly, carbohydrate information) so that patients can better determine the carbohydrate totals in foods. Knowing this variable will allow them to better choose a medication dosage and keep their blood sugars in range after meals. It would need to be a database of general information that corrects for specific foods. The system would grow smarter in time as links are established between specific foods and the resulting blood sugars.
3. Cruise control system for a car
I have close to no knowledge when it comes to cars. But I live in New York City, so this isn’t much of a problem. Below is my sketch of the cruise control system on a car. As with the closed-loop insulin pump that uses both insulin & glucagon, it seems that cruise control also relies on two variables (gas and brakes) to keep speed within the acceptable range.