How crowdfunding platforms in India are using AI, blockchain to help people raise money for medical procedures?
By Chet Jainn, Founder & CEO, Crowdera
People traditionally and instinctively turn to friends and families in time of need. Any fund so raised in the time of one’s need is a form of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding, therefore, is an old and native method for using raising funds. In modern times, technology has provided much-needed acceleration and worldwide reach to the fundraising needs and to the entire crowdfunding industry which caters the fulfillment of this need. Major technological factors transforming online crowdfunding are high internet penetration, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and cloud computing.
Major crowdfunding platforms use these technologies to revolutionise the industry. People are constantly benefiting and utilising these platforms to raise money for projects, medical emergencies, and to gauge public response, viability, and popularity of the product. Of these, money raised for medical emergencies is often a most critical requirement where time is of essence.
In India, US$ 100 billion is spent per annum on the healthcare industry, out of which almost 60 per cent of the expenses is not lined by any non-depository financial institutions such as insurance companies. As per an IBEF report, the healthcare market is expected to increase to INR 8.6 trillion (US$ 133.44 billion) by 2022. However, despite this expansion, India’s public attention remains in shambles, with the government paying a mere 1.15 per cent of its value on providing access to healthcare. With such a huge gap in need and availability of finance for medical needs, crowdfunding resources are a boon for overcoming medical emergencies.
The AI advantage
Case Study: Little Ira Mehta, barely three years old, was battling a brain tumor and post-operative complications. She needed to be operated upon urgently. The family was desperate and was struggling to arrange the cash required for her treatment. At this time, crowdfunding came to their aid when her father Tejas Mehta started a fundraising campaign on Crowdera. In just 24 hours, Tejas was able to raise INR 20,00,000 through donations and contributions from nearly four hundred individuals. The funds so raised helped pay for Ira’s treatment which prolonged the little one’s life a bit more despite her severe condition.
This quick response to a distraught father’s plea was made possible by AI on the crowdfunding platform.
The AI tools enable the crowdfunding platforms to not only raise funds but also conjointly showcase causes in alignment with a donor’s past contributions and their online behaviour. Usage of AI-driven chatbot technology assists campaigners to produce fundraising appeals. Crowdfunding platforms can launch medical emergency campaigns within 5 to15 minutes. What distinguishes AI technology from traditional technologies in healthcare is its ability to gain information, process it and give a well-defined output to the end-user. AI does this through machine learning algorithms which can recognise patterns in behaviour and create logic. AI not only provides a boost to the fundraising platforms but even in the overall healthcare sector we can see its implications and results.AI has the potential to transform many aspects of patient care, as well as administrative processes within provider, payer and pharmaceutical organisations.
Healthcare providers and payers use blockchain to manage trial data and medical records while maintaining personal privacy and regulatory compliance. Blockchain, a truly game-changing technology, offers completely transparent access from anywhere in the world.
Crowdfunding platforms that use blockchain technology can help to maximise the success of a project. Blockchain crowdfunding is being used to help fund businesses by removing middlemen, lowering listing fees and incentivising platform community.
The lack of access to funds for medical emergencies becomes a life-and-death situation for many. This is where crowdfunding platforms can be real life saviours. With just a click of a button, individuals are able to share their stories. The difficulties and challenges they used to face earlier have reduced with the hope to boost funding through public contributions. Given the huge cost involved in medical aid, many people don’t have any access to non-public loans with steep interest rates which anyways creates additional pay back struggles. Since online crowdfunding comes without any debts, it becomes the best solution for patients and their families.
The current awareness levels concerning crowdfunding as potential fund source among patients and medical professionals’ remains modest, however, it looks to be spreading out slowly and getting into the mainstream.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are also the best way to stop and sight fraud transactions by providing transparency to the overall process. At present there is no law that regulates crowdfunding in India; the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is considering ways to manage the market while not obstructing its growth. Since donation crowdfunding works on grants and donations, which offer no payback, it is exempted from SEBI rules. Crowdfunding currently comes under the reach of the Knowledge Technology Act (2000) and revenue enhancement laws.
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