Meet the 87 Year Old Genius Inventor Credited with Saving Millions of Lives

ABC News' Alex Mallin meets Robert Fischell, the author of more than 200 patents ranging from life-saving medical devices to a bowl for keeping cereal crispy.
11:14 | 05/19/16

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Transcript for Meet the 87 Year Old Genius Inventor Credited with Saving Millions of Lives
Everybody is Al personalities news -- I'm here with doctor Robert Michel. And we are on the White House north line now doctor Michelle was just inside there about an hour and a half ago he was awarded. Esteemed and prestigious national opinion yet showed the showed the cameras as air national medal of tech innovation. Correct and that he told me just you know what what does is not a forwards is really mean for you. Well the national medal for technology and innovation. Is full of those people particularly those. Who invented quite a few things in their life time. And that is technology and also its innovation when you get. In the United States or other patents and so that's essentially what the medalist for right now I'm very fortunate to say. That's something more than 200 issued United States patent. He told me about those patents mean that you're saying. During the ceremony you're patents have actually saved millions of lives now and now it's kind of unreal when he gets that point where you can't even count the numbers of lives you saved he gets into the millions and millions as President Obama. So today. Well I think one of the main things that did that. Was that the coronary stents that opens clogged arteries that allow the heart muscle to work properly. Most the invention of the flexible coronary stent that could go all over into a hawk. And eliminate that heart disease we probably have quite a few more than twenty million in human subjects all over the world. Tens of people that are watching this right now could even be having a piece of your invention inside of them all that's working and helping them. How does that feeling you're walking on the street and there can be people walking past you. That are pretty much alive and in healthy just because of your invention. Well I have a friend he had seven of them and I said hey I kettle royalty for me to thank you for having seventy said thank you for making seven of them for my child. And out. You you were just tell me that when you're stealing your an undergraduate student. You and always the best student the end college and graduated second in your class and engineering yes I mean what do you see it took two kids these days. That are a little bit discouraged when they're when they're in high school or grade school don't really feel like they have a knack for science or technology or math. How do you really encourage those kids to stay on with it and really you know he put it in and hope that they're gonna do better. Well I think there's quite a few reasons to stick with technology. And engineering. Well first of all it's a very good career you want a job and live a good life. Engineers and technologists do pretty well. Also you of a chance to advance the way that the world is. I mean people should realize today how great our world is compared to what it was I just read something we said a hundred years ago. Cause could only go ten miles an hour as the speed limit in cities and gasoline was bought by the equal what in your drugstore. I think we've come a long way since then. And right sticking to what you do in high school and in college when it comes to math and science. You can beat pot of that great adventure. To change technology and make it that if Coleman. And when did you get into this kind of attitude that. Where you basically come up with an idea one day and you said I'm and a patent this and I'm going to go out in and make sure it did I invent the you know what needs to what what basically needs to fix. The problem well and I I think. There's probably some people who do that probably more often than others on a very fortunate person that when somebody would tell me a problem in medicine. Within not very month long less than a minute. I start seeing the drawings I'd soft single way to do it. And many years of study and engineering and physics and science. Can give that ability to you if you are an invented so you at least ought to try it see what you can do. And be an inventor and change all mankind. And this is something for you that's extended not just to. Medical patents but some but other kind of otherworldly patents like. You wake up and you notice that your cereal is soggy so you you having to do apple. That the net and you explain this bull bit the aim is basically to keep your cereal from. Going soggy well. You know. About forty years ago I realize that I hated when the milk made by cereal sog he has I'm trying to unite like dry cereal in the morning. So I invent in having you this patent on the bowl for a company Cole Chris be serial. And this poll has. The cereal on one side milk and fruit on the other side. You get a tablespoon of the cereal then dipped it into milk and fruit and every tablespoon. Is Chris Perry. And at the bottom of the milk is a groove with the last of the milk and the last of the fruit you can just scoop up with a spoon and -- even have to tip the ball so now. We got the patent on it and now we're beginning to sell. In. Places is bowl that will keep every one of York tablespoons. Of dry cereal crispy when you read. Erica but I am wondering when can our viewers expect to see this in this and you know Kmart and Wal-Mart well I'm pretty soon we hope to have it on the Internet within. Within the next month though so. And they'll be malls that way you can see that 10 the places where they have been shut them all we can go and buy. And this is something you have years and years in the making as a how do you. Kind of keep that patients you just keep coming up that's world that the 200 patents comes from the U have won patent going in and you just keep coming up in new ideas and new ideas and and yeah putting one in the middle for it to basically develop over the years. Well in that it's a problem because I'd just like to lie in the sun and relax and I cant they keep getting these ideas. And I know how much everybody would like Chris B serial. And have their life saved with stents to I have to keep doing it. This guy is some kind of difference in the in your mind when you're going through something that. Has the ability to save somebody's life. And something. Like. You know keeping cereal dry yet it has got a BA is there greater urgency in me is there frustration you get when you're kind of building something that you know. Could really affect the lives of millions of people and it's going slowly through the through the process. Well this year both sort of a joke and side thing. And I do very few windows but we are working on some very serious inventions. We have a new one that we think. By intense magnetic pull stations on the human body. In the race all human pain without any drugs. To help very much and eliminating the narcotic analgesic problems in the United States. And also I have may be is a final goal. The invention of a device to prevent death from congestive heart failure. And to do that at the Robert if you shell institute for medical devices at the University of Maryland. Where are we getting a great new building funded by the state of Maryland. About a 120000. Square feet justice Michel biomedical devices and the Robbie thick shell institute for medical devices. And I hope we're gong to make. Some new devices that will prevent your debt from congestive heart. And that's John Beck that within the the device that will. Target chronic pain so does that mean you know for our viewers does that mean do you believe that. There's something that that basically all humans can have access to. Within how many years do you say that actually prevent them from the from undergoing this you know cause chronic pain so many Americans it was. Well with dying of a clinical trial in June at the medical school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. And with that trial we hope to prove by treating some patients and not called placebo. Or sham. Proved statistically. That we can eliminate most human pain. By using intense magnetic poles sanctions that prevent the pain neurons from sending pain messages to your brain. We have reason to believe. That it would work like the device I invented tooth fixed migraine headaches. That a magnetic pulses on the brain we've found to race migraine headaches that's already FDA approve. And being used in many places throughout the United States. We think that the new device that's going to be studied at University of Maryland school of medicine we'll have the same beneficial. Effect for all pain for human subjects. And with all his friends the Lutheran all these experiments I mean there's going to be some that don't work out the way you wanted them to under one talk about. Yeah outside in the UK if you think you'll always have success you better not be in the medical device that it. But I'm pleased this day. That we give up very quickly on those that really look hopeless and we really stick with those that look like that working. And not what I've found is the harder I work the luckier Agca. And so. And I've had a lot of faith is but then we stick with it we work on it and that's what everybody should know if there and invent. The first time things seldom work got to stick with it by determination. You can get there and get them to work and finally help a lot of people in the world. I just wanna see you mean what do you look what what's the advice you have for first time a banner I wake up or I'm walking industrial my friends and I have this idea and it's just an idea in your head. What he would you go from from right and where an idea of just seem straight to you becomes what you've created and you know over 200. Patton's. Well what I think you should do when you get an idea that you think would matter. Don't give up on him. Focus on it develop it think about it some law men see why. It's called the higher -- that which came before in the patent world it's easy to access and if you see that what your idea is. That's not Oregon files as a patent. Go for it causes a lot of satisfaction. And and dark. So just to wrap this up I mean how does it feel now that you've Gunther all of this. And you've you've developed all these pens tonight saying here in hand that medal placed over your head of the president of the United States and what what's the real what are what's going through your head today. What's going through my head it's I'm very lucky. And that. As I said I've found that the harder I work the luckier I god. Maybe that's a correlation. So while I can say is with feeling very good about it my whole family with here. I've two sons who have great inventors who have more than a hundred patent seat and doing great things so. We're just thrilled to be here and present Obama was extremely pleasant. He did a very good job he was a very good speaker. And very sincerely congratulated all. Doctor ever so that you so much for talking with us today you know and that's it from us on the White House north line them out now ABC news. He.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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