Crowdfunding Healthcare Innovation: Q & A With Alex Fair, CEO Of MedStartr

Kasia Galica | Informatics for Consumer Health | November 13, 2012

In this ICH Blog post, we spotlight MedStartr, a new health-related crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding for health-related projects is an innovative idea that enables the consumer to decide what health information technology applications or devices are important and ready to come on the market. Approaching the consumer—patients, providers, and families alike—from this angle can potentially give new meaning to the notion of active participation in health.

Q: What is MedStartr?

Alex: MedStartr is a health-specific crowdfunding platform that enables people with ideas or products to be supported by their potential customers. People fund or "back" projects that matter to them. In return the "backers" of the project can get a reward such as the product itself, or something symbolic like a T-shirt, wrist band, or a thank you on a public place. In some cases, non-profits get involved and enable tax-deductible contributions as well. This support—typically first from patients, friends, and family—can lead to a wave of support that may end with partnerships, venture backing, and even sometimes outright acquisitions of the companies. When people really care about an innovative solution or product on MedStartr they can help bring a product to market faster, fund a clinical trial, or start organizations that produce the change that they want to see. It truly puts the power in the hands of the people...