The Ki knowledge base includes some 38 studies from India, including approximately 10 million observations of more than 250,000 subjects. Last month, we hosted a webinar with partners from HBGDki-India to introduce our knowledge base and pave the way for future research.

Our goals for the webinar were three-fold:

  • We wanted to be clear about the data we have, including where it’s strong and where there are gaps.
  • We wanted to present the preliminary results of our in-progress rally on stunting and wasting in India.
  • We wanted to further stimulate the development of the HBGDki-India community, especially in advance of the GC-India announcement.

Vishak Subramoney, a member of Ki’s Data Services team, surveyed the India-relevant knowledge base, highlighting the richness and depth of anthropometric data and key gaps that need filling: studies with ultrasound, brain imaging, and MRI imaging, studies from key states in northern India, including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and studies of WASH or nutrition interventions.

Then Andrew Mertens of the UC-Berkeley data science team presented preliminary results of an analysis of stunting and wasting. By looking at incidence instead of prevalence, which we can do because of the size of the knowledge base, Andrew and his team concluded that both stunting and wasting incidence are highest from birth to six months of age, even after excluding stunting and wasting at birth. This finding suggests that we need to focus on preventing and treating both conditions among very young children in India. Andrew also saw extreme seasonal variation in wasting incidence, with up to a standard deviation increase during monsoon season. This finding suggests that we need to understand what’s happening in the summer months that leads to spikes in wasting so that we can intervene. Final results from a more comprehensive analysis will be presented later this year.

In the question and answer period following Andrew’s presentation, participants in the webinar suggested a variety of questions they’d like to explore using the dataset. This kind of collaboration on a research agenda is precisely the point of these webinars, and we are excited about the fact that GC-India has just announced a call for proposals on data science to address these and other questions.