The pride of WPI and New Hampshire, inventor Dean Kamen (of Segway fame), recently spoke to the Boston Herald about some new projects he’s tackling:
Kamen is currently at work on a water treatment system that was successfully tested just a couple months ago in a village in Honduras, he said.
The portable device turns contaminated water into clean water by distilling it, using a fraction of the energy required by traditional distillation systems. Kamen predicts such systems could help solve health problems caused by waterborne pathogens all over the world.
Another of his inventions was recently used to supply electricity to two small villages in Bangladesh, he said. These generators used methane gas from cow dung to provide power to homes that had never had electricity before.
He got expansive with his interviewer:
Someday patients will go into their doctors’ offices and provide a saliva swab or pinprick of blood that can be entered into a computer, which will design a drug treatment that’s unique to each person’s biochemistry, he predicts.
“That’s literally going to personalize medicine,” he said. “You’re going to see medicine accomplish things you never could imagine.”
Alzheimer’s disease may soon join the scourge of polio, now prevented by a simple $2 vaccine, he said.
The high cost of medicine just presages these changes. “We are just in the learning phase, the expensive development phase,” he said.
The Seqway, we must note, is also still in its expensive phase, and Kamen greatly overestimated its initial impact. Still, we’re happy to see someone with his talent working on medical devices. That is, after all, how the Segway got its start…
Flashback: Segway EMT…
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