Crowd-funding has helped many Health Tech devices raise development funds and build a market for new products. Some campaigns have extraordinary success. For example, consider the Hello from Sense. This sleep-tracking device ran a Kickstarter campaign three years ago with the modest goal of raising $100,000. Instead, they raised $2.4 million from nearly 20,000 backers.
And now the company is shutting down down the Hello project, even though it went on to raise an additional $40.5 million. Unless they can find another company to take over the service, the devices will stop working and those who have them will have to download their data if they want to preserve it. If you bought the device from a retailer, you might be able to return it for a refund, but Sense is not offering any refunds for units that were bought directly from the company.
Many Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns succeed in raising — or exceeding — their initial goals, yet many still founder on the way to becoming a commercial success. The accumulation of initial funding is no guarantee that the product will find a sustainable business model. The demise of the Sense Hello is an important reminder that it takes a lot more than just money to build a successful product.