Scientific American magazine has selected Dr. Kristian Olson, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital whose innovations in low-cost technology are saving lives in poor countries, as one of 10 people making a difference globally with new technologies and knowledge.
The editors named the "Scientific American 10" in the June issue. Olson is in distinguished company; others on the list include Bill and Melinda Gates, stem cell pioneer Dr. Andras Nagy and Tesla electric car creator Shai Agassi.
Olson is a project leader of the global health initiative at the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, a consortium of Boston-area hospitals that figures out ways to use technological advances to improve medical treatment.
His innovations, described in detail in a Boston Globe article in December, include a $7 alternative to the "bag mask valve" that provides ventilation for people who can't breathe properly, and an incubator made of car parts. (A former colleague thought of it, and he is building prototypes and trying to make the idea practical and affordable.)
Olson, born in Kamloops, British Columbia, is a dual American-Canadian citizen, and lives in Holliston. He was the first winner of the Durant Fellowship for Refugee Medicine at Mass. General in 2003, for his work in refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border. That program is in honor of Dr. Thomas S. Durant, who died in 2001 after a lifetime of service to patients and health organizations around the world.
Olson created the resuscitator after the 2004 South Asian tsunami -- and he built a program teaching about 500 midwives in Aceh, Indonesia, to use the technology.
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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