Dragonfly Thinking is a book authored by Bruce Oberhardt intended to help you develop superior problem solving skills.

About Bruce Oberhardt

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Bruce Oberhardt: President, BJO Biomedical, LLC

Profile: Bruce Oberhardt, PhD

Dr. Bruce Oberhardt is a sought-after biomedical engineer and entrepreneur, known for promoting creative thinking and for successfully spearheading first-of-a-kind technological developments in the fields of cardiovascular disease, blood diseases, and diabetes and helping to solve key problems in technology developments in the cancer field.  (Products based on these technologies are currently saving patients’ lives daily.)  He has founded new companies, such as Cardiovascular Diagnostics, Inc., a successful IPO, and served in management positions for major multinational medical product manufacturers.

Dr Oberhardt has served on Boards of Directors and Scientific Advisory Boards for venture backed companies and on the Board of Directors for the Raleigh-Durham Chapter of the Association for Corporate growth.  He has also served as a member and officer of the Atlantis Group, a North Carolina based angel investment group.

He has been involved in the development of many products that are now on the market, and is author or co-author of more than 50 published journal articles and abstracts, and the inventor or co-inventor on more than 180 issued patents, worldwide.  Dr. Oberhardt has won numerous awards, including the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurial Contribution and the North Carolina Biomedical Entrepreneur of the Year award.

About BJO Biomedical

BJO Biomedical is an LLC founded by Dr. Oberhardt to focus on biomedical consulting and technology incubation.

Consulting

Primary consulting activities have included facilitating the development of new biomedical technologies and developing strategies for commercialization.  Clients have included large and small organizations.

Consulting projects have included:

  • Technology strategy
  • Technology assessment
  • Competitive technology analysis
  • Technology development team facilitation
  • Helping determine market viability of products
  • Developing and enhancing problem solving capability in product development teams
  • Facilitating novel approaches to solving problems at the technology/business interface, sometimes involving technologies at the interface of devices, therapeutics, and/or diagnostics.

Dr. Oberhardt has worked with client companies engaged in areas including medical devices, medical diagnostic services, medical diagnostic products, genomics, multiple biomarker disease diagnostic technology, microfluidic technology, and others.

Technology Incubation

Technology incubation activities encompass starting and nurturing new technology-based companies.  These efforts resulted in the emergence of NanoVector, Inc., a novel nanobiotechnology drug delivery platform company for cancer therapy, for which Dr. Oberhardt is serving a management role.

2007– Present: President & CSO NanoVector, Inc.

NanoVector is a nanobiotechnology spin out company from NC State University developing targeted therapeutic and diagnostic approaches using an engineered plant virus with unique capabilities. This plant virus forms the basis of a novel nanoparticle drug delivery system for treating advanced metastatic cancer.  See www.nanovectorinc.com .

Major Past Biomedical Technology Contributions

Over the years Dr. Oberhardt has led and/or participated in a number of first-of-a-kind technological developments, as well as industrial projects encompassing a wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines.  This work included early research in novel biophysical characterization methods for antibody-antigen systems in autoimmune diseases, liposomes and particle-based immunologic detection systems, and the development of: automated blood chemistry and cell analyzers; blood glucose sensors; blood coagulation monitors; wearable insulin pumps; feedback-controlled intravenous infusion systems; catheters and tubes; novel immunodiagnostic technologies; novel separation technologies; continuous flow screening systems; blood collection devices; blood filtration systems; and others.  Major contributions have included:

  • Patenting, developing, and transferring for commercialization the point of care (POC) technology now sold in products by several companies for blood coagulation testing, including the highly successful CoaguChekR System sold by Roche Diagnostics for POC monitoring of warfarin drugs, including CoumadinR: perhaps the most widely-used prescription cardiovascular drug in the US.  See: www.CoaguChek.com .  The microfluidic technology used in the disposable element for the CoaguChekR system is currently believed to be the most widely used microfluidic system in the medical diagnostics field worldwide.  This same element and technology is also used in related products to perform a variety of blood coagulation tests: by Helena Laboratories (Beaumont TX) in the Cascade POC System and the newly introduced Abrazo Analyzer, as well as throughout Asia by Japan’s A&T Corporation (Drihemato test cards and CG02 Blood Coagulation Analyzer).
  • Participating in the development of the first commercial automated white blood cell differential analyzer system based on flow cytometry and cytochemistry, used to diagnose and monitor leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases.  This technology, originally launched by Technicon Instruments Corporation as the Hemalog D System, was later used for the Bayer/Technicon H Systems and is still considered a “gold standard” in the field of Hematology.
  • Playing a major role in the Technicon technology development program that led to fully automated random access high-volume immunoassay systems, introduced in Bayer Diagnostics systems, such as the “Immuno 1.”
  • Co-inventing, reducing to practice, and patenting the first electrochemiluminescent immunoassay method and apparatus.
  • Managing the development of the first fully-programmable, microprocessor-controlled, wearable insulin pump for diabetic patients in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic.

 

Problem Solving

Dr. Oberhardt’s latest passion is conducting workshops and training others in techniques for solving complex problems.

During his career, he has tackled and solved many complex biomedical technology and business problems and participated in many successes.  He has positioned himself multiple times at the interface between technology and business, within large companies he worked for as well as in companies he founded, and through development and management consulting for both large and small organizations.  He has seen much of what works and what doesn’t.  However, since he had not seen much written on how to develop superior problem solving skills and specifically to bring them into the complex landscape of a business, especially if there is an entrenched culture, he decided to write about his experiences.  This was a main driver for him to write “Dragonfly Thinking.”

The ability to tackle and solve extremely difficult problems has been the key to the greatest innovations in history.  Innovations, more than any other factors, have propelled the US economy since the dawn of the industrial revolution.  Now, more than ever before, jobs are being threatened by rapidly-evolving technology and outsourcing.  Problem solving is becoming a must-have skill in order to stay competitive and valuable in today’s dynamic job market.  Problem solvers generate economic growth and create new jobs and even new companies.  They are our greatest asset for building the future we hope for.

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