Monday, April 22, 2013

Crowdfunding Platform Watsi Makes Heath Care Available to Patients in Need

Launched in August of 2012, Watsi is a global health care crowdfunding platform that lets anyone help fund a life-changing medical treatment for people in need. Donors can contribute as little as $5, and 100 percent of donations go straight to treatment. The idea for Watsi came to co-founder Chase Adam on December 3, 2010, when he was traveling through the village of Watsi in Costa Rica. A woman boarded the bus he was on, carrying a red folder and speaking to the passengers near her. Adam thought she was selling something, and by the time she had made her way to where he was sitting, he saw that the plastic bag she was holding was filled with money. When Adam saw what was in the folder, everything made sense. There was a photograph of the woman's son with a big incision across his stomach and a document that described his medical condition.

“In that moment I had what can only be described as an epiphany,” says Adam. “If I could somehow connect this woman with my friends and family back home, she would have the money to pay for her son's medical treatment within the day.”

Today, Watsi is using technology to connect patients who have treatable illnesses but cannot afford basic health care with the people who can help them. Focusing on low-cost, high-impact medical treatments, the non-profit aims to change the lives of a million people in need, believing that everyone should have access to medical care regardless of nationality, religion, or socioeconomic status.

Every cent donated on Watsi directly funds medical treatment for the patient of the donor's choice. Watsi even covers the credit card processing fees, and handles its overhead separately through foundations, private donors, and corporations. And to ensure transparency, Watsi posts all of its financials online.

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