Well, this is a horror story about coding incompetence. There is this nice gadget that can be controlled from your phone to automagically dispense insulin, a real boon to diabetics. You just type how big a dose you need into your phone, and it signals and discreet little device to deliver it. No manual injections!
Except their software drops the initial decimal point. If you type “0.5”, it’s fine, it delivers 0.5 units of insulin. If you type “.5”, it ignores the decimal point, and delivers 5 units. You better not type “.50”, or oh boy, here comes 50 units.
This must have been a fun letter for Omnipod to send out.
Dear Valued Customer,
You are receiving this letter as our records indicate that you are a user of the Omnipod® 5 App from Google Play on your compatible Android smartphone. The app is part of the Omnipod 5 Automated Insulin Delivery System. This notice is a voluntary Medical Device Correction related to an issue with the Omnipod 5 App bolus calculator. Insulet has received 2 reports of adverse events related to this issue.
We have received reports from Omnipod 5 smartphone app users where the bolus calculator is not recording the decimal point if it is the first value entered when changing a bolus dose. If the user does not recognize the issue, this may lead to delivery of more insulin than intended, which can lead to severe hypoglycemia.
I’m imagining corporate lawyers having heart attacks when this bug was discovered.
Hey, computer science instructors, this’ll be a good example to use if your students complain about mundane data entry tasks!