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[Dean Kamen Clean Water To Countries Facing A Water Crisis]
[Dean Kamen (Entrepreneur/Inventor):] Source: LYBIO.net
So when I was in high school, my older brother, who was a brilliant guy, who was in medical school, and he was developing ways to help cure babies of things like leukemia and other cancers. But as he developed his new ideas, there was no way to administer those drugs, because babies that weigh a couple of pounds are not capable of taking the kinds and quantities of fluids that come out of these standard pumps you see in a hospital.
So I get down to my parents’ basement and build them things that would actually deliver these microdoses of stuff, before I knew it, I had a whole little business running out of my father’s basement building insulin pumps for diabetics. And I finally had to move out of the basement, into a little building, and built a company to build, medical systems.
So I started building dialysis machines. But I could build a very, very small dialysis machine, that people could put in their homes. And last year we shipped 200 million therapy, for our dialysis machines.
Then I started building for the disabled community and a stair-climbing, balancing device that would help people that can’t walk. And give people back that same kind of ability to stand up and balance and look people in the eye and ambulate that they once had. And so I made a thing called an eyebot. Ironically, once we did that, we took that and modified it. For fun and made a thing later known as the Segway for everybody else to use.
[Dean L. Kamen (Entrepreneur/Inventor):] Source: LYBIO.net
I was forever known as the Segway guy even though I spent my whole life building medical equipment and even the Segway itself was the result of our medical technology.
If you take all the pharmaceutical companies in the world and today they are treating just almost exactly 50% more chronic human disease. The other 50% all by itself, is bad water.
It occurred to me many years ago that the greatest, single health issue the world faces today could be entirely eradicated if you just gave people clean water.
Over two billion people worldwide don’t have access to clean drinking water. 30,000 children die needlessly everyday. Over half of them could be saved if only they had clean drinking water. We could save eight million children every year.
[Dean L. Kamen:]
That’s equal to getting rid of all the diabetes and all the heart diseases and all the cancer and all the Alzheimer’s. Get rid of bad water, and you wipe out half of all chronic human disease. And so I decided we were to work on a product that could turn any water into clean healthy water, especially for babies.
We call the project SlingShot because as a kid I remember the story of David and Goliath. From the moment I heard that story, I decided technology is cool. This little guy. And I was a very little guy. But this little guy, David, having this really big problem, Goliath. And he was able to take out this very big problem with a little technology. A sling shot. Technology is a potent tool.
But I went to all the medical companies I’ve worked with for 30 years and they appropriately pointed out they sell medical equipment in rich countries. But most of the people in the world that are sick or dying because they don’t have access to clean water, don’t live in those fifty or sixty countries. They live in the other 150 countries around the world that people live on $1 or $2 a day.
So after spending 10 years trying to figure out how to essentially make pure water out of any water, I realized that Coca-Cola, if you go to the poorest village in the poorest country and if there’s any product that you’ll find there, it’s probably Coca-Cola.
So I ended up working with the Coca-Cola company to help them solve some of their own problems, and in return – I asked them if they’d be willing to leverage their global distribution system at least well enough to try, to see, if our device when put in the hands of their global distribution network could be cost effectively delivered in the developing world, in a sustainable way to bring clean water to a few billion people.
And I’m happy to tell you that a few months ago with the help of the Coca Cola Company their distribution system delivered our machines into schools and clinics in Ghana. And those machines were then connected to the local generally toxic water supplies. And out of those machines has come 50,000 liters of water so pure literally could be injected directly into your veins. And certainly it’s the most potable, clean water these kids have ever had to drink and the results have been incredibly exciting.
I like working on problems that improve people’s lives.
I like understanding technology and solving riddles with it. And I believed that I could take my technology background, and resources, and what I had learned, and put it into a format that can help other people, particularly kids, appreciate how accessible, and how much fun, and how rewarding, and how powerful science and technology can be. And I particularly enjoy that if we succeed, I get to see people benefit from what we do, you know, whether it’s letters from kids who’ve had grandma’s at home now because she doesn’t have to stay in the hospital because she can use your dialysis machine.
[Dean L. Kamen:]
I’d like to leave the world a better place than I found it. All the rest of it’s peripheral.
Dean Kamen Clean Water To Countries Facing A Water Crisis. I’d like to leave the world a better place than I found it. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.