Perhaps because it’s back-to-school time, fall is full of events whose main focus is to improve the systems we live and work in. One of the biggest challenges we have been grappling with is healthcare. Instead of receiving the care they deserve, patients are mired in a mess of insurance claims and hospital bureaucracy, and are often forgotten. And health outcomes suffer as a result. On the heels of the two biggest annual health technology events, Rock Health Summit and Health 2.0, we’re seeing an encouraging trend: not only is innovation becoming increasingly patient-centric, but taking things one step further to make healthcare as a whole more accessible to everyone.
The evolution of health tech
The most inspiring part of these events isn’t just seeing the way the industry is changing, but that people are attacking the problem from every angle, and we’re seeing the same thing on Indiegogo. Health tech has expanded far beyond fitness trackers and wearables, like the Misfit Shine, to create a comprehensive set of tools that are improving healthcare for everyone. With support from their communities, and people all over the world, researchers no longer have to spend months waiting for grants, the best and most useful wearables get funded, and cancer patients can focus on healing, instead of going bankrupt to receive treatment.
Improving comprehensive care
A great example is the The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center, who were frustrated that because “caring for people with a disease as complex as Parkinson’s does not fit neatly into today’s healthcare economics,” Parkinson’s patients do not receive the care they need. The Center started a campaign to fund a completely unique facility that incorporates compassionate care, clinical trials to improve treatment, and exercise and education classes at little or no cost to patients and their families. Thanks to their Indiegogo supporters they raised more than five times their goal, and not only were they able to quickly move forward to actually offer services, but can now use the proven success of this new therapeutic model to secure future funding.
Funding clinical research
The scientists at Tisch MS Research Center of New York spent 10 years preparing for a clinical study to see whether stem cells can halt the progression of Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that causes neural degeneration and have effects as serious as paralysis. Instead of spending more time applying and waiting for government and corporate funding, Tisch MSRCNY launched a campaign so they could have an impact on patients faster. Even early on in the trial, the researchers were already seeing patient improvement.
For health-conscious patients looking to become more self-reliant, health trackers like Scanadu Scout help uncover insights that only a physician would have had access to before. By scanning and tracking vital signs, patients can now see exactly how even the most minor lifestyle changes affect them, instead of waiting for a doctor to clue them in. Not only does Scanadu empower patients to take charge of their own bodies, it has been approved by the FDA as an investigational device, which means that the data collected can be used to learn more about how what we do affects our wellbeing.
Financing high-quality treatment
And looking at an individual scale, patients unable to cover the costs associated with their care, either due to lack of insurance coverage or restrictions set by their providers, finally have some recourse.Three and a half year-old Ryan has been able to receive best-in-class care to beat cancer, and be a kid, instead of worrying about his family’s finances. Because Ryan’s parents were able to focus completely on him, rather than how to afford his next round of radiation.
This is only a small sample of the incredible innovation happening every day across our platform. We want to support innovation in every aspect of healthcare, and our campaigners show time and time again, that when human needs cannot be met by our existing systems, we will find ways to prevail. If you or a loved one are passionate about improving health on a local or global scale, start a campaign now.