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Crowdfunding The Next Healthcare Hit
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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 10:02:30 AM
Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
Seems like crowdfunding is most likely to succeed with products targeted for a consumer audience, as opposed for more technical/specialized products for the hospital. Arguably, getting consumers more engaged in managing their own health is the real frontier today, so this channel of funding could benefit the overall quality of care.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 10:42:11 AM
Re: Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
Yes and no. Most of the health-related technologies I found on crowdfunding sites did target patients/ consumers. But, having covered crowdfunding in the past, I was surprised at the success of some of the nuts and bolts technologies, the relatively unsexy pieces, that sparked investors' interest. These techs -- things like routers or coding tools -- aren't necessarily limited only to healthcare, which could be one reason I didn't find or include them in this particular round-up.

Crowdfunding is a way doctors, nurses, administrators, and other members of the healthcare world may find money to support their idea. The most challenging part is getting out the word and separating their idea from all the others out there. That's where social networking, marketing savvy, and dedication come in; of course, having a great idea is vital! 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 11:20:48 AM
The Solution for an IT Problem?
We've seen several Kickstarter success stories; I mentioned the most recent one in the story, of course. One thing I've often wondered about is whether any CIOs or IT professionals have ever found the technical solution they've been seeking via a crowdfunding site? Did your organization need X, Y, or Z and, boom, there it was, seeking money on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or a similar site? If so, did you invest? Did the product come to market and did it work out for you? If that's ever happened to you or a colleague, please share your success (or disappointment if the product or company failed).
danielcawrey
IW Pick
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 12:29:55 PM
Re: Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
I think that healthcare is going to attract a different subset of people looking to help crowdfund a project. Remember the Oculus example? That was clearly funded by people who fervently believed in VR.

In the healthcare sector, it may be harder for people to visualize the potential of a complex technology. Sure, promoting the ability for a healthcare project to save or improve lives is important.

The big picture, I think, is going to be key for raising money in this way for healthcare hits. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 12:58:42 PM
Re: Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
Yes, the person or group behind a crowdfunded healthcare tech needs to really explain and show what their product can do for healthcare or a segment of healthcare in a way that sparks excitement and hope from would-be investors, yet also demonstrates why this group of people can make it happen. Because when you crowdfund, you're really investing in someone else's dream! Many healthcare ideas I've seen have been some variation on Fitbit et al, which is okay but there has to be more than that out there! What I love about the whole crowdfunding concept is that anyone, with a great idea and a willingness to invest time on marketing as well as inventing, can at least try to get startup funds nowadays. It's not as seemingly impossible as it once was, if you're a doctor, nurse, or administrator with a great idea to actually become a successful developer, too.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 2:29:53 PM
Re: Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
There are so many ideas we need in addition to Fitbit-genre devices. I hope the industry doesn't get obsessed with fitness bands when there are other medical device areas where patients would love for costs to be driven down.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/11/2014 | 10:28:56 AM
Re: Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
I completely agree, Laurie. Too many crowdfunded products appear to be next-generation fitness bands but we're only at the beginning of the app revolution, of medical devices, of home health, and who knows what else! Now ordinary entrepreneurs have the chance to more easily finance their innovation, there's no excuse to let that dream fester.
rufuslabs
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rufuslabs,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/12/2014 | 12:55:19 PM
hi from rufuslabs
Great article with some very valid points! We appreciate your mention of the Rufus Cuff. While we've designed it with a consumer focus, there are several additional niche markets that interest the team at rufuslabs. We have several close friends and family in the healthcare industry and have engaged in many discussions of how the Rufus Cuff could be useful. Rest assured we are working on something great that we think can be of use in healthcare as well as education and IT. The Rufus Cuff provides the first real alternative for professionals in many fields to have their hands free and have a usable device with software that can make patient management and all sorts of tasks much easier. We love hearing feedback from our community of suporrters. Thanks! - Team Rufus
Alex Fair of MedStartr
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Alex Fair of MedStartr,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2014 | 12:06:31 PM
Re: Crowdfunding mostly for consumer digital health tech?
While a good number of projects are digital health tech consumer devices, especially on the mainstream sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, on MedStartr we have had everything from medical missions to Africa to new drugs.  People do love gadgets and there is a new trend of make the internet of things come to healthcare and this is fantastic, but for the more medically focused ideas, check out MedStartr.com if you are interested.  Thanks!

Alex Fair

Chief Crowdologist

MedStartr
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
4/15/2014 | 10:02:17 AM
Re: hi from rufuslabs
Interesting to hear about the additional areas Rufus Cuff is looking to target. It sounds smart: Many technologies suitable for healthcare should adapt to other verticals where professionals need hands-free access to data input and analytics. Good luck!
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