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American Heart Association Using Crowdfunding to Find Next Big Thing in Health

February 5, 2014
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231295

You may not have allowed crowdfunding into your heart just yet, but it may very well improve the health of your heart.

The Dallas-based American Heart Association (AHA) is using crowdfunding, the process of soliciting small donations from a large number of people, to identify the most innovative technologies in the field of cardiovascular health.

In its first-ever Open Innovation Challenge, the AHA will narrow the field of 10 finalists to three winners by looking at both how much each entry raises via health-care crowdfunding platform MedStartr and what score each innovation receives from a panel of experts, according to a statement from the AHA. The winners will be announced on Feb. 25.

Related: In Crowdfunding, Who is Responsible for Preventing Fraud?

The finalists are looking to introduce everything from a medical-record binder that has an audio recorder embedded so it can capture doctor’s orders to a HIPPA-compliant visual notepad for medical use that allows patients and doctors to share photos and videos online.

The three winners chosen will compete for grants totaling $25,000 and will be invited to present to investors and healthcare leaders at the AHA Health Science Innovation and Investment Forum in New York City next month. The goal of the campaign seeking innovative technologies is to improve the cardiovascular health of American by 20 percent and reduce the number of heart-disease related deaths by 20 percent by 2020.

“This new challenge drives home our commitment to support new technology and innovative research that can lead to lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. We invite healthcare technology innovators everywhere to be a part of this important competition,” said Cheryl Pegus of the AHA, in a written statement.

Related: Another Score for Crowdfunding: Indiegogo Raises $40 Million