Success Is Just Running Out of Mistakes: A Lifelong Quest to Make Hemodialysis Simple, Safe, and Effective
By: Stephen R. Ash, MD, FACP
About the Book
Success is Just Running Out of Mistakes is about a life-long quest to improve the therapy of kidney failure, especially with hemodialysis technology. Dr. Ash began to write this because of a lack of progress in dialysis therapy. He is tired of physicians and politicians saying that there is a "lack of innovation" among nephrologists. The problem isn't lack of innovation, but rather a failure to commercialize radically better new technology. In some ways the book is also a collection of 12 case studies of new technology and ideas and how a small technology-driven firm can succeed or fail in efforts to bring their new product to become a widespread market success. There are few textbooks that describe not only successes of R&D companies in bringing products to the market but also failures. What is surprising about the failures described in this book is that they occurred at many different steps of bringing a new product to market.. The answer to a physician who says "I have a new idea and think it could help medical therapy. What should I do next?" is very long and complicated.
The one trait Success is Just Running Out of Mistakes really demonstrates is the importance of persistence. Not just in any one project, but in a career trying to make just one small part of medical therapy better for patients with kidney failure. Too many young physicians don't realize the tough road ahead to make medical therapy better and quit after the failure of their first good idea. As Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
About the Author
Stephen R. Ash, MD, FACP, recently retired from clinical practice as a Nephrologist at Indiana University Health Arnett in Lafayette, Indiana. He is CEO of HemoCleanseTechnologies, Chairman of the Board of AshAccess Technology, and co-founder of a number of spin-off biotechnology firms. He has a long history of research and product development in the field of sorbents, resulting in devices for treatment of kidney failure (AllientTM by Renal Solutions) and for liver failure (Liver DialysisTM by HemoTherapies). He was instrumental in development of an orally ingested sorbent for potassium (now marketed by AstraZeneca as Lokelma®). Dr. Ash has also invented a number of new catheters for dialysis access, including the Ash Split Cath®, CentrosFLO® and AdvantageTM PD Catheter.
Dr. Ash is a co-founder and Past President of the American Society for Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN). He is Past President of ASAIO and until recently served as Secretary-Treasurer of IFAO. He is recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from ASDIN, the Celebration of Life Honor by NKF of Indiana, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Annual Dialysis Conference.
Dr. Ash also has a dedicated and loving family, including his wife Marianne, and daughters, Emily and Sarah. Marianne and Dr. Ash are long term members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Lafayette, Indiana. They live at and operate a retirement/recovery farm for horses, and his special interests are fixing things around the farm, woodworking, and flying fixed wing RC aircraft.