Early Predictions for Medical Crowdfunding: A Deep Learning Approach Using Diverse Inputs
Posted: 18 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 27, 2019
Medical crowdfunding is a popular channel for people needing financial help paying medical bills to collect donations from large numbers of people. However, large heterogeneity exists in donations across cases, and fundraisers face significant uncertainty in whether their crowdfunding campaigns can meet fundraising goals. Therefore, it is important to provide early warnings for fundraisers if such a channel will eventually fail. In this study, we aim to develop novel algorithms to provide accurate and timely predictions of fundraising performance, to better inform fundraisers. In particular, we propose a new approach to combine time-series features and time-invariant features in the deep learning model, to process diverse sources of input data. Compared with baseline models, our model achieves better accuracy and requires a shorter observation window of the time-varying features from the campaign launch to provide robust predictions with high confidence. To extract interpretable insights, we further conduct a multivariate time-series clustering analysis and identify four typical temporal donation patterns. This demonstrates the heterogeneity in the features and how they relate to the fundraising outcome. The prediction model and the interpretable insights can be applied to assist fundraisers with better promoting their fundraising campaigns and can potentially help crowdfunding platforms to provide more timely feedback to all fundraisers. Our proposed framework is also generalizable to other fields where diverse structured and unstructured data are valuable for predictions.
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