Could Crowdfunding Be the Future of Health Care?


Every century has brought amazing medical discoveries to our society. From vaccines to breakthrough cancer treatments, the last century has been something that humanity has never really experienced before. Average life spans are increasing and this is allowing people to enjoy longer, fuller lives. Now here’s something that’s really exciting – the medical discoveries in this century will dwarf the accomplishments of the last century.

The problem is funding. Patients benefit from medical research, but research isn’t going to be funded when households are spending 18% of their disposable income on medical bills for treatment. This is where crowdfunding with an equity emphasis could chance the field of health care forever. Even under Title II, which is currently active, backers can explore the life sciences in a way they never could before.

With the costs of health care as they are, it also means that a backer could get an amazing return on their investment faster than they could in any other industry.

What Exists Today for Health Care Crowdfunding?

There isn’t a lot of help for backers in this industry right now. There are some rewards-based crowdfunding platforms out there, most notably Experiment, where researchers are able to raise money for proof-of-concept ideas that would usually go unfunded. For the most part, however, the funds that are needed for true research and innovation in this industry are much higher than what donations alone can provide.

That’s why equity crowdfunding in health care holds such great promises. A backer could get an equity share of a medical discovery that could change the world. If Jonas Salk had crowdfunding for the polio vaccine and it went to equity, imagine how much of a return would be coming back to those backers. Those backers would still be getting a return five decades later because the Salk serum is still the basis of most polio vaccines that are given today.

The problem, however, is that medical research is not a guaranteed solution. There are many experiments that have held great hopes, but ended up providing very little, if any results. That’s why crowdfunding from an equity standpoint is such a good idea. It limits the amount of a backer’s liability.

What Are the Primary Concerns of Health Care Fundraising?

There’s only one true primary concern about crowdfunding in this area and that is fraud. Although it is relatively rare, it is also not uncommon for research groups to falsify results in order to receive grants or other types of funding. Questionable science has raised millions already without crowdfunding and it is money that has basically been wasted. The potential for great things, however, tends to outweigh this risk.

We are at a transition point in the health care industry. The next decade could transform the way we all look at medicine. With equity crowdfunding in play, it also means that backers can get in on this transformation and everyone on the planet can benefit from that.