Innovation – Segway Style

February 2, 2011

Yesterday I attend the Cleveland Clinic Ideas for Tomorrow presentation by Dean Kamen inventor of the Segway and much more. His current company is called DEKA Research & Development Corporation and has several inventions to meet his goals of saving the planet and solving big problems with simple solutions. Many of these have implications for health but also he has created FIRST, an education initiative to help students become inventors and scientists. Perhaps more important that his inventions is the way that he thinks about innovation and invention. Part of this is within the mission of FIRST, “exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”  He stated, “innovation is mostly about surprises” and lives his life expecting the unexpected.  He complained about government regulation which inhibits innovation and has created his own country on an island off Connecticut as an act of rebellion. He scoffs at naysayers and believes in solving global problems. We need more of this in healthcare.

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