Health & Science

Segway Inventor Headlines ‘Medical World Americas’ Conference In Houston

Promoters hope the conference, now in its third year, can help convince outsiders that Houston is a competitive bio-science hub, on par with Boston and San Francisco.

Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and medical devices, speaks during the third year of the Medical World Americas conference in Houston.
Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and medical devices, speaks during the third year of the Medical World Americas conference in Houston.

This year's Medical World Americas conference pulled participants from 26 states and several countries, including Israel. It included a job fair and a business pitch contest for entrepreneurs, open to any medical start-up company in Texas.

"As time goes on and the meeting grows, people will get the idea that they have to be at Medical World Americas," said Dr. Robert Robbins, president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center.

"It's going to be in Houston every year," he added.

The conference is partially supported by hotel taxes, which are funneled through Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Houston First has taken a 50 percent stake in Medical World Americas, according to Michael Heckman, Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Event Development.

"It's a great way for us to continue to partner with the TMC, to be able to plant our flag in the ground here in Houston, to attract more medical meetings here for the city," Heckman said.

Although most medical conferences focus on a specialty like cancer, nursing, or IT, Medical World Americas aims for a broad audience.

"We're not a society. We're not a particular association. We want to be as inclusive as possible and have that kind of networking and communication, whether you're a hospital CEO, whether you're a physician's assistant," Heckman said.

"The feedback we've gotten is they're interested in a lot of the same things," he added.

The conference theme this year was innovation, featuring inventor Dean Kamen as speaker. Kamen invented the Segway, drug infusion devices, a home dialysis machine, and a wheelchair that can climb stairs.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required

Share