Bob Rioux is a graduate from Northeastern University who has invented scores of medical devices. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern in the year 1985 on an ROTC scholarship. Today, Rioux has earned a total of 110 patents mainly for medical devices that he has invented and developed. Among his developments is a device that can probe soft tissue which opens like an umbrella to remove tumours. It has been modified and was tested on pig bone. He was inspired by a teenage girl in Toronto who was suffering from a cancerous tumour embedded within the bone of her leg.
In his initial years, it was very difficult for him since he was not only trying to solve difficult problems but was teaching himself how to solve them as well. Over a decade he developed his methodology of asking “a lot of dumb questions” and then turning the answers into mechanical and electrical solutions. He routinely goes into operating rooms to watch procedures and asks what is wrong. Sometimes he notices problems and inefficiencies that the doctors and nurses have failed to recognise. Then he designs equipment to help solve the issues. The devices developed by Rioux cover a variety of medical fields including gynecology, orthopedics, wound care, and oncology. One of his specialties is radiofrequency (RF) ablation, by which electricity generates heat to kill cancer cells.
Rioux works around 50 to 55 hours a week, simultaneously his mind works around the clock on the latest riddles. He relies on his phone for questions that confuse him instead of carrying a notebook. Over the past four years, he has begun earning equity from his inventions. Presently, he is developing products at Proven Process Medical Devices in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Here, he works with one of his former co-op supervisors, chief financial officer James Sluetz. Rioux has the ability to translate sophisticated medical techniques and language to arrive at fundamentally simple solutions.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman