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“The 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners are:
•Dr. Forrest M. Bird for his pioneering work in the field of respiratory and cardiopulmonary care including the revolutionary BABYBird®. This device dramatically reduced the infant respiratory failure mortality rate from approximately 70 percent to 10 percent. His more recent medical invention of Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV) ® concepts have reduced pulmonary failure in the most critically injured military and civilian burn patients from about 75 percent to 5 percent. Dr. Bird’s innovations have saved millions of lives.
•Dr. Esther S. Takeuchi for the development of the silver vanadium oxide battery technology which powers the majority of today’s implantable cardiac defibrillators and innovations related to other enabling medical battery technologies that power implantable pacemakers, implantable neurostimulators and left ventricular assist devices. Dr. Takeuchi’s innovations have saved and dramatically improved the quality of hundreds of thousands of human lives.
•Dr. John E. Warnock and Dr. Charles M. Geschke for their pioneering contributions that spurred the desktop publishing revolution and for changing the way people create and engage with information and entertainment across multiple mediums including print, Web and video.
•International Business Machines Corporation for the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer, which re-established United States leadership in high performance computing. Blue Gene’s systems architecture, design and software have delivered fundamental new science, unsurpassed speed and unparalleled energy efficiency, which have had a profound impact on the worldwide high-performance computing industry.”
On a personal note, Dr. Bird’s invention, taken to a new level, saved my daughter’s life about five years ago, so I’m delighted he won this prestigious award. Congratulations are due all around, so congratulations to the 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation!