As an inventor, he holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as chemotherapy, neonatology and endocrinology. In 1976 he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. At age 30, he sold that company to Baxter International Corporation. By then, he had added a number of other infusion devices, including the first insulin pump for diabetics. Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for major corporate clients.
Among Dean's proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology.
Mr. Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000, awarded by President Clinton in 2000 for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. He was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.