Joe Kiani was born in Shiraz, Iran, and emigrated to the United States at the age of nine. Kiani's father was an engineer and his mother was a nurse. 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. In 2005, Kiani was awarded the Monty Distinguished Alumni Award by San Diego State University.
Career at Masimo
Kiani founded the medical technology company Masimo in 1989 and was later joined by partner Mohammed Diab. The company is now publicly traded and employs more than 3,000 people worldwide. Masimo technologies are used to monitor over 100 million patients per year. According to industry watchers, "...while that accomplishment alone puts him in the same breath as business legends like Apple's Steve Jobs or Microsoft's Bill Gates, Kiani's contribution to the world of medicine may be even more profound." 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.
Pulse oximetry is one of the most common monitoring technologies used 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. Masimo's additional industry-first technologies include rainbow Pulse CO-Oximetry, which noninvasively and continuously measures blood constituents and physiological parameters that previously required invasive procedures, such as total hemoglobin (SpHb), carboxyhemoglobin (SpCO), methemoglobin (SpMet), and pleth variability index (PVI). Masimo also makes rainbow Acoustic Monitoring, which measures respiration rate (RRa), and recently debuted Halo Index in their SafetyNet system, combining multiple physiologic parameters into one number to help clinicians assess overall patient status.
Kiani and Masimo have over 575 issued and pending patents worldwide. 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. 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. The Medical Device Manufacturing Association called the victory "a critical step in addressing the anticompetitive and other questionable practices by certain dominant manufacturers".
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. 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. 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."
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. 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.
In 2013 Kiani founded the Patient Safety Movement Foundation through the support of the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare. More than 200,000 preventable patient deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals. 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."
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.
In March 2014, Forbes interviewed Kiani in an article called "Re-Engineering Healthcare To Eliminate Preventable Deaths".
On April 1, 2014, Kiani was named by Becker's Hospital Review as one of "50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety". Kiani was the only patient safety expert named who is also a medical technology company CEO.
Awards and distinctions
Kiani and Masimo have received more than 50 awards and honors, including:
- 2015 SafeCare Person of the Year Award that recognizes and applauds the one individual who has contributed significantly towards improving patient safety and healthcare quality across the globe
- The Newborn Foundation's Hubert H. Humphrey "Dawn of Life" Award, an award previously reserved for members of the United States Congress. Hubert Humphrey IV, the former Vice President's grandson, presented the award to Kiani as a "visionary leader who has been dedicated to increasing the role of technology and innovation in improving health" of newborns around the world.
- Society for Critical Care Medicine Technology Excellence Award (the only recipient of this award to come from industry)
- Frost and Sullivan CEO of the Year Award
- Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year - 2012 Life Sciences
- Argyros Medal for his entrepreneurship, outstanding business accomplishments, service on behalf of patient safety, and dedication and support of Chapman University
- Serves as Chairman and CEO of Cercacor
- Member of Chapman University President's Cabinet
- Serves as an Advisor to College of Engineering at San Diego State University
- Serves on Board of Directors for Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC)
- Serves as a Board member and Angel investor in several start-up Technology and Medical Technology Companies
- Served as Chairman of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA)
- In July 2012, gave a TEDxChapmanU talk about his belief that microscopic changes can bring forth revolutions, an idea he calls "micro-fixing"
- Masimo Corporation (13 October 2014). "Press Release: Newborn Foundation Bestows Masimo CEO Joe Kiani With the Hubert H. Humphrey 'Dawn of Life' Award". Reuters]