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Crowdfunding Healthcare Startups – Medstartr and Indiegogo

Posted on October 5, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I have been seeing more and more activity around the idea of using the crowds to fund various healthcare IT startup companies. This shouldn’t be that surprising to any of us given the success of websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They’ve created a whole new way to raise money for passion projects. Plus, as they’ve grown they’ve shown a new way to see if your customer really wants what you plan to offer.

One challenge is that Kickstarter generally hasn’t approved healthcare startup company projects on their platform. In fact, a whole company was born to try and help solve the problem of making crowdfunding available to healthcare. This company is called MedStartr.

I’ve been keeping an eye on it for quite a while. So far they’ve had some successes with these projects getting funding: Medstartr, The Walking Gallery, Peer-to-Peer Global Support for Rare Disease, and Avado. Plus, Reconstruction Bras for Breast Cancer Survivors and Previvors have met their goal, but are still raising money.

I think the most exciting one is The Walking Gallery since it raised well over twice of the money requested. I’m interested to see how some of my friends like referralMD and My Crisis Records do on Medstartr. Their projects are still open if you want to back them.

I think the biggest challenge with Medstartr right now is that it’s currently a “bring your own crowd” fundraising platform. The platform works to raise money if you already have a built in audience that is willing to pay to support it. So far, Medstartr hasn’t been able to produce a large community of “backers” that can fund a project that gets listed. In fact, I don’t think Medstartr even reached its fundraising goal in its campaign (although, it’s listed as such on the website now).

What is also really interesting is a healthcare project that was posted on Indiegogo for a Asthma Education App. So far it has raised $7125 for Health Nuts Media who wants to create the app. That’s not a bad start for their app with 27 people helping to fund that goal. Although, even that number was influenced by a $5000 commitment from Medicomp Systems makers of Medcin. I’d be interested to know how they landed that backing. That’s a nice one and if they can get more of those, that will be powerful.

The good thing with Indiegogo is that whatever money is raised the project gets. In Kickstarter you have to reach your goal or the project gets $0 of funding. I haven’t heard which model Medstartr has chosen to adopt.

We’re still in the early days of Crowdfunding. Plus, true crowdfunding (ie. small investment for small equity) is still waiting on the official rules to be put out. That could really change how companies get funded. I’m excited about the opportunity, but cautious about the challenge of getting enough people to care about healthcare enough to support those projects.

A Ring Around the EHR and Health IT Twittersphere

Posted on March 11, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One challenge that many bloggers face is creating good titles for all of their posts. I usually don’t have too much problem creating one. Although, I have to admit that when I do my weekend Twitter round ups, I often do have a problem coming up with a title. I don’t like them all to be essentially the same. Maybe I’ll just do the top two stories in the title in the future and then say and more… I mostly mention that because of the creative title above.

Ok, enough discussion of blog titles. Let’s get to the meat of the tweets that I found. A number of these are really substantial pieces of news. So, take a look and enjoy.


I’m sure many might be wondering why this is in an EMR and health IT roundup. The EMR mentioned in the tweet is not electronic medical record. However, if you love tech, you’ll be amazed at that post. It’s such a great illustration of how what Amazon is doing with EC2 and their other “cloud” services is going to continue lowering the costs for so many internet services.

I like to think about it this way. How many servers are running at maximum capacity all the time? The answer is none of them. In fact, many of them often use some small percentage of what that server could process. So, that means there’s a lot of wasted processing power on servers. I think services like Amazon EC2 create such an interesting model since they have so many fewer wasted resources.


Yes, this is a survey by CDW healthcare, but that’s a pretty strong number regardless of who is doing the survey.


I’ve become more and more annoyed by the way our current payment system causes so many perverse incentives. It really makes me want to find ways to change the system.


It could be the most overlooked. Although, the question we should be asking is why is it overlooked? I think the answer is that it’s not an easy thing to understand during the selection process.


Nice job by Neil of covering Epocrates selling their EHR software. This is BIG news. Sure we could argue that Epocrates didn’t have the DNA in their company to build and sell EHR. However, this should be a cautionary tale for other EHR vendors trying to enter the market. Of course, entrepreneurs will ignore this caution and enter anyway. That’s why I love entrepreneurship.


This story was passed around on Twitter all week this last week. It probably deserves more than a tweet at the end of a Twitter round up. This is a great story about an iPad EMR saving a life, but it’s also a great story about patient information being available in emergent situations. I’ve met a number of companies that are working on this problem (including My Crisis Records who advertises on one of my sites). I think over the next 5 years we’re going to see a really dramatic change in how an emergency responder addresses a medical situation. I look forward to that day. I believe information is power and I think we can do a lot better getting them the information that will make them more powerful.