The invisible Side of Medical Crowdfunding


In the United States, 62% of bankruptcies were a result of medical costs. Recently, patients and their families have raised substantial sums to defray their out-of-pocket medical costs using online crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe. In one notable medical crowdfunding campaign, the campaign’s URL was shared 409 times, in only two days, bringing in $26,064 from 258 donors. This example shows the important role medical crowdfunding supporters play in assisting the patient by reaching out to a wider audience of potential donors. Despite the importance of the community support behaviors, they are often invisible on medical crowdfunding sites because they occur across different mediums such as social media, online communities, or offline.


Figure: Medical Crowdfunding Webpage

We investigate the invisible side of medical crowdfunding platforms. The first and second projects uncover the import role of support behaviors that are not visible on medical crowdfunding sites: They 1) establish the trustworthiness of patient’s medical situations and 2) mitigate perceived social stigma of revealing one’s personal medical and financial situation. The third project explores ways to recognize the invisible support behaviors publicly on medical crowdfunding webpages.


Jennifer G. Kim, Hwajung Hong, and Karrie Karahalios. "Understanding Identity Presentation in Medical Crowdfunding" CHI 2018. pdf

Jennifer G. Kim, Kristen Vaccaro, Karrie Karahalios, and Hwajung Hong. "Not by Money Alone: Social Support Opportunities in Medical Crowdfunding Campaigns" CSCW 2017. pdf

Jennifer G. Kim, Ha Kyung Kong, Karrie Karahalios, Wai-Tat Fu, and Hwajung Hong. "The Power of Collective Endorsements: Credibility Factors in Medical Crowdfunding Campaigns" CHI 2016. pdf


Jennifer G. Kim