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Crowd funding for medical research? U-M team wins national prize for innovative approach
Date:6/5/2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Crowd funding is all the rage these days, with everyone from charities to start-up companies offering ways for masses of people to kick in small amounts of money that together can make big things happen.

But could that concept work for medical research?

A University of Michigan Health System team wants to find out and they have just won a national prize for their prototype of a web-based platform to do it.

Today in Washington, D.C., the team accepted a $40,000 award in the prototype category of the PCORI Challenge, a competition sponsored by the federally authorized nonprofit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

The concept, called WellSpringboard, would make it possible for anyone to propose and chip in money for ideas for new patient-focused research studies -- and for researchers to propose that they get the money and carry out the study if enough dollars are raised. The site would focus on comparative effectiveness studies those designed to compare different prevention, diagnostic or treatment options.

The team, led by U-M physician and health researcher Matthew M. Davis, M.D., MAPP, will invest the prize money directly into further development of the WellSpringboard concept, to move it toward an eventual launch.

"We want to bring the public's voice into the world of health research, to allow them to ask for answers to questions that are most important to patients of all ages and the people who care for them," Davis explains. "We also want to make it possible for researchers to join the virtual exchange of ideas that can attract broad public attention and investment. Researchers will be able to apply for the funding raised by the public, through a scientifically rigorous review process that involves scientists and non-scientists."

Davis worked with U-M's Anna Daly Kauffman, BA, and Dianne C. Singer, MPH, faculty colleagues Joyce Lee, M.D., MPH, and Susan Woolford
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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