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Last Update: Sunday August 20, 2017

Biosite is helping to save healthcare. This is The American Dream.

"You're crazy. No way! It'll never work."

San Diego: Early insights by three people, Dr. Gunars Valkirs, Kim Blickenstaff  (pcitured above) and Dr. Ken Buechler, opened the way to develop devices that are now used virtually every second of a day to aid hundreds of thousands of emergency medical technicians, nurses, doctors and patients to diagnose medical conditions faster and more accurately. In this episode of the show, you will see their little device, Biosite Triage® for rapid diagnostic testing, in action.

What people said.  When they had the idea, everyone told them, "You're crazy. No way! It'll never work."  They began their business in 1988. Today, it is a global organization with annual revenues over $250 million. And it is all based on a product line that never ever existed before they created it.

$300 million in sales.  We are looking at the first phase of the Biosite Triage® rapid diagnostic tests. First, they invaded the emergency rooms and the emergency vehicles. Now, they are moving into doctor's offices. It shouldn't be too long before a version is available for the home.

Tests with devices like theirs will change the way we see ourselves forever. You'll put a drop of blood (or urine) inside what looks like a fat credit card. Taken inside their little machine and as many as 1000 basic tests, all answers to key questions about a person's most basic medical conditions, are read out in 15 minutes or less.

Their creativity and courage is extraordinary. Ten out of ten MBAs from Harvard and other fine schools said, "It's stupid. Impossible." Yet, these three founders of Biosite nurtured their dream. They could see ways to improve the deep diagnosis of critical health conditions with rapid, accurate diagnostics. They knew the technology could be made. They were on the front edge of very sophisticated protein analysis. Why not put the two together? They persevered.

The firm's first product, The Triage Drugs of Abuse Panel, was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992.

They didn't stop there. They now test for congestive heart failure, heart attack, and a long check list of medical emergencies with very strange names. Beyond their unstoppable energy and passion for continued research and exploration is the belief that their success to date does not begin to scratch the surface of the potential of diagnostics.

Hattie says this about these three founders of Biosite: "By bucking the system, thinking without a box and committing to thousands of steps along the innovation process, three men have broken through. Because of their work, healthcare is better today than it was 10 years ago and the future is brighter for all of us."  More...               More on The American Dream.


Change An Industry

5:08 | Play Now | Kim Blickenstaff, Chairman / CEO,  has been hugely successful in spite of all  experts who told him it would be impossible -- that they had "a stupid idea."  

Do What You Know

1:37 | Play Now | Ken Buechler and his two partners, Gunars Valkirs and Kim Blickenstaff,  worked together before they launched Biosite.  They respected each others talents.

Leave The Nest

1:38 | Play Now | Gunars Valkirs and his two partners, Ken Buechler and  Kim Blickenstaff,  were bored by big business and its lack of courage and insight.

Raise Money The Old Way

2:54 | Play Now | At the beginning stages of Biosite, the need for rapid testing was laughed at by the big boys in the diagnostic industry. This fact would have made getting a bank loan impossible.

Listen To Your Mentors

3:21 | Play Now | Gunars Valkirs says that they didn't start out thinking they would be a public company.

Hire Your Replacement

2:05 | Play Now | Ken Beuchler says their product makes testing easy but building it is very complex.

Treat Every Person As An Equal

2:07 | Play Now | Host Hattie Bryant witnessed how the founders of Biosite lead by example.

Stop And Think

1:34 | Play Now | This tiny machine is busy saving lives because the inventors wouldn't give up on their dream.

Give To Add

2:51 | Play Now | Ken Buechler says that employees of Biosite are offered stock because he and his partners believe in the idea that giving something leaves the giver richer. 

Keep Working Even When You're Rich

1:15 | Play Now | Gunars Valkirs, Kim Blickenstaff and Ken Buechler love the challenges work presents.


For more stories about innovation and The American Dream...