2011 saw a new award added to the roster of the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEAs)—the Lifetime Achievement Award. The bar for this new award is quite high. It honors an individual whose contributions during a long career have had a demonstrable impact on technological, business, and cultural advancements in medical devices. There was no question that the 2011 recipient, Alfred Mann, Chairman and CEO of MannKind Corporation, was worthy of the honor. Mr. Mann’s achievements were off the charts.
2012 brings us an equally worthy candidate, yet with a slight twist. Presenting this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Thomas Fogarty will be a man worthy of the award himself—Dean Kamen. The awards ceremony takes place on May 23, during the MD&M East conference and tradeshow in Philadelphia.
Dr. Fogarty’s accomplishments in the medical device industry include having founded or co-founded more than 33 medical companies. He holds 150 patents on surgical instruments, including the Fogarty balloon embolectomy catheter, which revolutionized vascular surgery. It became the first minimally invasive surgical device, and is still used today.
Circling back to Kamen, he’s been accurately described as an inventor, an entrepreneur, and advocate for science and technology. He has more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents and invented the first wearable infusion pump and the first wearable insulin pump for diabetes. The robotic "Luke" arm shown in the above video is another one of his inventions. So it’s a perfect fit for him to be presenting the award to Dr. Fogarty and it’ll be a real treat to have them both on the stage at the same time.
As an added bonus, Fogarty and Kamen will participate in a live Q&A panel lead by yours truly. The panel will be held at 2:30pm at the show.