To gauge how well B.C.’s health and social care system is working, a team of Simon Fraser University researchers recently turned to an unlikely source: GoFundMe campaigns.
The fundraising requests on the crowdfunding website helped researchers identify several weaknesses in the health-care system that may not be easily apparent by looking at more traditional health data, said the study’s lead author, SFU health sciences professor Jeremy Snyder.
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“These campaigns are generated every day, in people’s own voices,” he said. “They actually give us a lot of information.”
The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, tracked more than 400 health-related GoFundMe.com campaigns within the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions during a month-long period.
Collectively, the campaigns requested more than $8.5 million in funding and were pledged $3.5 million from about 28,000 donors.