Joe Kiani

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Masimo Chairman and CEO Joe Kiani

Massi Joe E. Kiani (born September 16, 1964) is an Iranian-born American entrepreneur who founded medical technology company Masimo in 1989.

Early life[edit]

Joe Kiani was born in Shiraz, Iran, and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine.[1] Kiani's father was an engineer and his mother was a nurse.[2] Despite not speaking more than three words in English when he arrived in the United States, he graduated from high school at the age of 15 and, by the time he was 22, had earned both his bachelor's (B.S.E.E) and master's (M.S.E.E) degrees in electrical engineering from San Diego State University.[3]

Career at Masimo[edit]

Kiani founded the medical technology company Masimo in 1989 and was later joined by partner Mohammed Diab.[4] The company is now publicly traded and employs more than 4,250 people worldwide.[5] Masimo pulse oximetry is used to monitor over 100 million patients per year[6] and is the primary pulse oximetry at 17 of the top 20 hospitals listed in the 2017-18 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll.[7] In 2011, Forbes named Masimo to its list of top 20 public companies under a billion dollars in revenue, based on earnings growth, sales growth, and return on equity.[8][9]

Pulse oximetry is one of the most commonly used monitoring technologies in healthcare. Masimo makes a pulse oximetry technology known as Signal Extraction Technology (SET), which is known as being the first pulse oximemtry technology to reliably measure-through motion and low perfusion conditions.[10][11]

Kiani and Masimo have more than 595 issued and 310 pending patents worldwide.[12] Under Kiani's leadership, Masimo won a patent infringement award of more than $300 million in damages when it settled a lawsuit against the Nellcor division of Tyco Healthcare (now known as Covidien) for infringing on its patents for measure-through motion and low perfusion pulse oximetry in 2006.[13] Kiani and Masimo also won a 2004 lawsuit against Tyco for violating antitrust laws specifically related to the sale of its Nellcor pulse oximetry products and was ultimately awarded $43.5 million.[14] The Medical Device Manufacturing Association called the victory "a critical step in addressing the anticompetitive and other questionable practices by certain dominant manufacturers".[15]

In 2014, Masimo was awarded $467 million in a lawsuit against Philips for infringement of two patents related to Masimo pulse oximetry technology, a jury verdict upheld by the federal court in 2015. In 2016, Masimo and Philips signed a multi-year business partnership agreement involving technology, marketing, and sales integration, as well as a payment of $300 million from Philips to Masimo.[16]

Industry reform[edit]

In 2002, Kiani was interviewed for a New York Times article titled "Medicine's Middleman" that focused on the practices of Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and dominant medical suppliers.[17] The article was followed by a series of 18 additional New York Times stories on GPOs over the next two years. After the Times article appeared, The United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights held four hearings regarding these practices, at which Kiani testified twice.[18] Kiani's efforts led media to call Masimo "the poster child for small medical device manufacturers" and observe that Kiani "almost single-handedly galvanized the rancorous debate over the GPO industry's purported role in locking out innovative technologies from the marketplace."[19]

Kiani is active in efforts to reform U.S. health care and encourage medical innovation. In 2010, Kiani and Masimo provided $10 million in funding to create the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare, which is dedicated to encouraging and promoting activities that improve patient safety and deliver advanced healthcare worldwide.[20] Masimo Foundation supports third-party research, development initiatives, and clinical studies with an emphasis on transformative projects that seek to truly enhance patient safety and outcomes; helping to forge a world free of sickness, disease and inhumanity.

Joe Kiani testifies at the U.S. Senate HELP Committee.

In 2013 Kiani founded the Patient Safety Movement Foundation through the support of the Masimo Foundation. More than 200,000 preventable patient deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals.[21][22] The Patient Safety Movement is committed to reducing these deaths to zero by 2020. The Foundation also convenes the action-oriented annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology summit.

On September 24, 2013, Kiani appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and laid out five steps to help eradicate preventable patient deaths. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said the hearing was "The most important hearing this committee would hold all year."[citation needed]

Also on September 24, 2013, the Patient Safety Movement announced its Commitment to Action to reduce preventable patient deaths in U.S. hospitals to zero by 2020 at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York.[citation needed]

In March 2014, Forbes interviewed Kiani in an article called "Re-Engineering Healthcare To Eliminate Preventable Deaths".[23]

On April 1, 2014, Kiani was named by Becker's Hospital Review as one of "50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety".[24] Kiani was the only patient safety expert named who is also a medical technology company CEO. Kiani has subsequently been recognized on the same list of top 50 patient safety experts in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

In 2016, Kiani was asked by then-Vice President Joe Biden to put together a team of cancer researchers and experts to assist in the “Cancer Moonshot” initiative first announced by President Obama during the January 2016 State of the Union address, with the goal of speeding cancer treatments and ultimately eradicating cancer.

In 2017, at its 5th annual summit, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation announced that almost 70,000 lives had been saved and over 69 healthcare technology companies had pledged to share their data, helping to create an ecosystem for engineers to develop predictive algorithms that can help save even more lives.


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  7. ^ "U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll". Archived from the original on 2016-08-03.
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  16. ^ "Philips and Masimo drop lawsuits, form partnership". Retrieved 2017-12-11.
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  19. ^ HighBeam[dead link]
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  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2012-12-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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