Inventor, Physicist, and Entrepreneur
As an inventor and physicist, Dean Kamen has dedicated his life to developing technologies that help people lead better lives. As an inventor, he holds more than 200 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still an undergraduate at WPI, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as chemotherapy, neonatology, and endocrinology. In 1976 he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. At age 30, he sold that company to Baxter International Corporation. By then, he had added a number of other infusion devices, including the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics. Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for major corporate clients.
The array of products and technologies invented and developed by Mr. Kamen and the engineering team at DEKA is extremely broad. Two notable breakthrough medical devices invented and developed by DEKA are the HomeChoice™ portable dialysis machine, marketed by Baxter Healthcare, and the Independence™ iBOT™ 3000 Mobility System, a sophisticated mobility aid developed for Johnson & Johnson. With his latest creation, the Segway&trade' Human Transporter (HT), Kamen aspired to improve upon the most basic form of transportation, walking, by allowing people to go farther, move more quickly, and carry more without separating them from their everyday walking environment.
Among Mr. Kamen's proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989, an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. Kamen remains the driving force behind FIRST, recruiting titans of American business, government, and education to invest time and resources into the initiative. The FIRST Robotics Competition, an annual competition teaming professional engineers with high school students nationwide attracts hundreds of teams, breaks participation records every year and inspires students to pursue careers in science and technology.
Kamen has received numerous awards and accolades for his innovative inventions that revolutionized health-care technology, including the National Medal of Technology in 2000 and the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002 for Invention and Innovation. Dean Kamen was inducted into The National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.