Khushi Baby (KB), a wearable platform to bridge the world's immunization gap, is a system for tracking vaccination and mobilization in the last mile.
Aman Preet Kaur
Joseph Zinter (Advisor)
Robert Hopkins (Advisor)
Martin Klein (Advisor)
Nicholas Christakis (Advisor)
Where are you based? Where are each of you from/where did you grow up?
Half of the team is based in the US; the other half is based in Northern India.
What does Khushi Baby do?
Khushi Baby uses a mobile app for community health workers that interfaces with a digital necklace worn by patients via Near Field Communication (NFC). Health workers can scan a patient’s chip, without needing connectivity to a central database, and can read, act upon, and update the health record, enabling reach in even the most isolated rural communities. The patient data is later synced to the cloud and displayed on an analytics dashboard, where insights can be acted upon by health officials. More than just another approach to digitize the record keeping process, the Khushi Baby system presents a novel community engagement platform; the KB necklace is not simply a tool used to collect data, but also a powerful, culturally specific symbol and a potential driver of behavioral change. We sought to marry tradition with technology by transforming the kaala dhaago or black thread that is traditionally worn by children to protect them from nazar or the evil eye into a medical passport.
What is the problem Khushi Baby helps to solve?
The KB system looks to bring efficiency, accountability, and granular analytics to an otherwise broken status-quo paper-based health information system, one which is outdated, patient-nonspecific, and error prone. This data may inform mobilization of resources and management of stock. KB also looks to use data to connect back with the community and foster engagement towards better immunization uptake: through personalized voice call reminders and the form factor of the KB necklace itself.
How did you hear about the challenge and what inspired you to enter?
We heard about the challenge on Twitter. #Wearablesforgood felt like a perfect fit for our product given its search for innovation that was socially-grounded. Understanding cultural significance of the black thread for mothers in Rajasthan, India, has not only given us a wearable form factor, but has also shaped our design lens to be anthropologically conscious.
What was the toughest challenge you faced and how did you deal with it?
Our first pilot of this system is being conducted by the NGO Seva Mandir, in 100 villages in rural Udaipur, Rajasthan. Implementing the KB app with Seva Mandir's 8 health worker teams is challenging given the high nurse turnover rate; furthermore, until the app's accuracy and timeliness benefits can be fully assessed, the nurses have to do double entry (in both systems) before the transition to the NFC/mobile app system alone can take place. We are working to train the IT team and build in-house capacity for sustainable use and training of our software, while collecting data on our system. We also recognize that once we are able to work at a larger level (district or state), we will gain the standardization framework and human capital to ensure more streamlined data syncing, monitoring, and cleaning.
What do you feel the next phase of the challenge, working with industry mentors, will bring to your design?
We look forward to working with industry mentors to design for scale and integration with the Rajasthan State Ministry of Health's Electronic Health Record System (known as Parental and Child Tracking System or PCTS).
What other projects are you working on? We are eager to know!
Khushi Baby is eminently focused on expanding from tracking child immunizations to the full spectrum of maternal and child health. We are expanding this wearable system to other applications from emergency medicine to mobile banking, and we are working to realize a future "Digital India" that can interface with all levels of the population pyramid.