IBD Crowdfunding at WellSpringboard to Explore Factors Predicting Flares

IBD Crowdfunding at WellSpringboard to Explore Factors Predicting Flares
The University of Michigan has taken crowdfunding one step closer to its researchers and the general public. A platform called WellSpringboard allows the public to pitch research ideas, and once a U-M researcher picks up the ball, it's the public’s turn to donate online. The initiative is likely to bring research closer to the people engaged in scientific questions. "This is a great way to get together as a community to address what our patients are passionate about," said Dr. Peter Higgins, one of the first scientists to convert an idea from WellSpringboard to a research proposal. Higgins is a gastroenterologist working to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and as can be the case on other social platforms, he found his ideal partner in Eric Polsinelli — a patient suffering with severe IBD. "It was a challenge to do anything," said Polsinelli in a press release. "Losing control of your body and your life is difficult." Polsinelli initially approached WellSpringboard with no intention to propose new research. His experience of resources overflowing with advice but not backed up with solid research made him hope that the platform could be an information source. "A lot of what you find online is anecdotal or pseudoscience," Polsinelli said. "I'd like to see research that shows evidence of what you can do to improve your physical or mental health while dealing with IBD." Higgins' project will do just that. "This is a project we've been pondering for a while," he said. "Flares come out of the blue and disrupt patients' lives, so we're going to i
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