Kickstarter Says “No” to Digital Health Products

Above: Left to right: Kickstarter cofounder Charles Adler, creator Perry Chen, and cofounder Yancey Strickler. Image Credit: Kickstarter

Above: Left to right: Kickstarter cofounder Charles Adler, creator Perry Chen, and cofounder Yancey Strickler.
Image Credit: Kickstarter

Starry eyed startups seeing the success of funding campaigns like the Pebble smart watch, raised more than $10 million via Kickstarter will still have to wait patiently to gain access to the largest online crowd funding site.

Kickstarter announced yesterday that it was loosening its admissions requirements, but some products — like digital health products — still aren’t welcome.

Kickstarter’s guidelines for admission are much shorter now. In fact most projects don’t even get vetted by humans. But the site still bans health-related products right alongside hate speech, porn, and politics.

Specifically, it bans “Any item claiming to cure, treat, or prevent an illness or condition (whether via a device, app, book, nutritional supplement, or other means).”

Judging by the wording there, it seems like devices or apps that merely “monitor” a given body metric like heart rate or blood sugar would be allowed on Kickstarter, right?

Apparently, the guideline language has been enough to keep almost all digital health funding campaigns away from Kickstarter. According to Rock Health numbers, Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo hosts 77 percent of all digital health product campaigns, representing 89 percent of health product crowdfunding.

Kickstarter would not provide comment on the reasons for its aversion to digital health campaigns. But it’s likely the company fears being named in a lawsuit over the use (or misuse) of a health product featured on its site.

To read more on the subject of Digital Health Crowdfunding, check out Crowdfunding: 8 things healthcare entrepreneurs and investors should keep in mind from MedCity News.

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