How Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding Are Fueling Health Care Innovation
Informational and financial exchanges, which take place among groups of like-minded people with a specific directive or purpose, are referred to as crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, respectively. Crowdsourcing is an open call for intellectual contributions; it is a means by which individuals can brainstorm, assess, evaluate and consult on projects and research. Crowdfunding facilitates direct, financial contributions to projects, charities, individuals, etc. For-profit and non-profit organizations use crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to obtain expert-level help, solve complex problems, broaden their support networks, advertise products or services, solicit feedback, and reach entirely new groups of prospective investors or consumers.
The health care community is also benefiting from crowdsourcing and crowdfunding: Medical researchers are accessing broad, qualified sample groups; physicians are consulting providers from all backgrounds whose experiences lend unique perspectives; and, consumers with mounting medical expenses are requesting and receiving financial help from friends, family and strangers. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding prove that the power of many is greater than the power of one.
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