Utilizing ML to Enhance Engagement with a Maternal and Youngster Well being Program in India


    The widespread availability of cell phones has enabled non-profits to ship essential well being info to their beneficiaries in a well timed method. Whereas superior functions on smartphones enable for richer multimedia content material and two-way communication between beneficiaries and well being coaches, less complicated textual content and voice messaging companies will be efficient in disseminating info to massive communities, significantly these which are underserved with restricted entry to info and smartphones. ARMMAN1, one non-profit doing simply this, is predicated in India with the mission of enhancing maternal and little one well being outcomes in underserved communities.

    Overview of ARMMAN

    One of many applications run by them is mMitra, which employs automated voice messaging to ship well timed preventive care info to anticipating and new moms throughout being pregnant and till one yr after start. These messages are tailor-made in response to the gestational age of the beneficiary. Common listenership to those messages has been proven to have a excessive correlation with improved behavioral and well being outcomes, corresponding to a 17% improve in infants with tripled start weight at finish of yr and a 36% improve in girls understanding the significance of taking iron tablets.

    Nevertheless, a key problem ARMMAN confronted was that about 40% of girls step by step stopped participating with this system. Whereas it’s doable to mitigate this with dwell service calls to girls to elucidate the benefit of listening to the messages, it’s infeasible to name all of the low listeners in this system due to restricted help workers — this highlights the significance of successfully prioritizing who receives such service calls.

    In “Area Examine in Deploying Stressed Multi-Armed Bandits: Helping Non-Earnings in Enhancing Maternal and Youngster Well being”, revealed in AAAI 2022, we describe an ML-based resolution that makes use of historic information from the NGO to foretell which beneficiaries will profit most from service calls. We handle the challenges that include a large-scale actual world deployment of such a system and present the usefulness of deploying this mannequin in an actual research involving over 23,000 contributors. The mannequin confirmed a rise in listenership of 30% in comparison with the present normal of care group.

    We mannequin this useful resource optimization drawback utilizing stressed multi-armed bandits (RMABs), which have been properly studied for utility to such issues in a myriad of domains, together with healthcare. An RMAB consists of n arms the place every arm (representing a beneficiary) is related to a two-state Markov choice course of (MDP). Every MDP is modeled as a two-state (good or dangerous state, the place the nice state corresponds to excessive listenership within the earlier week), two-action (corresponding as to whether the beneficiary was chosen to obtain a service name or not) drawback. Additional, every MDP has an related reward operate (i.e., the reward amassed at a given state and motion) and a transition operate indicating the chance of shifting from one state to the subsequent beneath a given motion, beneath the Markov situation that the subsequent state relies upon solely on the earlier state and the motion taken on that arm in that point step. The time period stressed signifies that each one arms can change state regardless of the motion.

    State of a beneficiary might transition from good (excessive engagement) to dangerous (low engagement) with instance passive and energetic transition chances proven within the transition matrix.

    Mannequin Improvement
    Lastly, the RMAB drawback is modeled such that at any time step, given n whole arms, which okay arms needs to be acted on (i.e., chosen to obtain a service name), to maximise reward (engagement with this system).

    The chance of transitioning from one state to a different with (energetic chance) or with out (passive chance) receiving a service name are due to this fact the underlying mannequin parameters which are essential to fixing the above optimization. To estimate these parameters, we use the demographic information of the beneficiaries collected at time of enrolment by the NGO, corresponding to age, earnings, schooling, variety of kids, and so on., in addition to previous listenership information, all in-line with the NGO’s information privateness requirements (extra under).

    Nevertheless, the restricted quantity of service calls limits the information equivalent to receiving a service name. To mitigate this, we use clustering strategies to be taught from the collective observations of beneficiaries inside a cluster and allow overcoming the problem of restricted samples per particular person beneficiary.

    Specifically, we carry out clustering on listenership behaviors, after which compute a mapping from the demographic options to every cluster.

    Clustering on previous listenership information reveals clusters with beneficiaries that behave equally. We then infer a mapping from demographic options to clusters.

    This mapping is helpful as a result of when a brand new beneficiary is enrolled, we solely have entry to their demographic info and haven’t any information of their listenership patterns, since they haven’t had an opportunity to hear but. Utilizing the mapping, we are able to infer transition chances for any new beneficiary that enrolls into the system.

    We used a number of qualitative and quantitative metrics to deduce the optimum set of of clusters and explored totally different mixtures of coaching information (demographic options solely, options plus passive chances, options plus all chances, passive chances solely) to attain essentially the most significant clusters, which are consultant of the underlying information distribution and have a low variance in particular person cluster sizes.

    Comparability of passive transition chances obtained from totally different clustering strategies with variety of clusters s = 20 (purple dots) and 40 (inexperienced dots), utilizing floor fact passive transition chances (blue dots). Clustering based mostly on options+passive chances (PPF) captures extra distinct beneficiary behaviors throughout the chance house.

    Clustering has the added benefit of lowering computational value for resource-limited NGOs, because the optimization must be solved at a cluster stage reasonably than a person stage. Lastly, fixing RMAB’s is thought to be P-space laborious, so we select to resolve the optimization utilizing the favored Whittle index strategy, which in the end offers a rating of beneficiaries based mostly on their seemingly advantage of receiving a service name.

    We evaluated the mannequin in an actual world research consisting of roughly 23,000 beneficiaries who had been divided into three teams: the present normal of care (CSOC) group, the “spherical robin” (RR) group, and the RMAB group. The beneficiaries within the CSOC group observe the unique normal of care, the place there are not any NGO initiated service calls. The RR group represents the situation the place the NGO typically conducts service calls utilizing some systematic set order — the concept right here is to have an simply executable coverage that companies sufficient of a cross-section of beneficiaries and will be scaled up or down per week based mostly on out there sources (that is the strategy utilized by the NGO on this specific case, however the strategy might fluctuate for various NGOs). The RMAB group receives service calls as predicted by the RMAB mannequin. All of the beneficiaries throughout the three teams proceed to obtain the automated voice messages impartial of the service calls.

    Distributions of clusters picked for service calls by RMAB and RR in week 1 (left) and a couple of (proper) are considerably totally different. RMAB may be very strategic in selecting only some clusters with a promising chance of success (blue is excessive and purple is low), RR shows no such strategic choice.

    On the finish of seven weeks, RMAB-based service calls resulted within the highest (and statistically vital) discount in cumulative engagement drops (32%) in comparison with the CSOC group.

    The plot reveals cumulative engagement drops prevented in comparison with the management group.
       RMAB vs CSOC       RR vs CSOC       RMAB vs RR   
    % discount in cumulative engagement drops    32.0% 5.2% 28.3%
    p-value 0.044 0.740 0.098

    Moral Issues
    An ethics board on the NGO reviewed the research. We took vital measures to make sure participant consent is known and recorded in a language of the group’s selection at every stage of this system. Information stewardship resides within the arms of the NGO, and solely the NGO is allowed to share information. The code will quickly be out there publicly. The pipeline solely makes use of anonymized information and no personally identifiable info (PII) is made out there to the fashions. Delicate information, corresponding to caste, faith, and so on., are usually not collected by ARMMAN for mMitra. Due to this fact, in pursuit of guaranteeing equity of the mannequin, we labored with public well being and area consultants to make sure different indicators of socioeconomic standing had been measured and adequately evaluated as proven under.

    Distribution of highest schooling obtained (prime) and month-to-month household earnings in Indian Rupees (backside) throughout a cohort that obtained service calls in comparison with the entire inhabitants.

    The proportion of beneficiaries that obtained a dwell service name inside every earnings bracket fairly matches the proportion within the total inhabitants. Nevertheless, variations are noticed in decrease earnings classes, the place the RMAB mannequin favors beneficiaries with decrease earnings and beneficiaries with no formal schooling. Lastly, area consultants at ARMMAN have been deeply concerned within the growth and testing of this method and have supplied steady enter and oversight in information interpretation, information consumption, and mannequin design.

    After thorough testing, the NGO has at present deployed this method for scheduling of service calls on a weekly foundation. We’re hopeful that this may pave the way in which for extra deployments of ML algorithms for social impression in partnerships with non-profits in service of populations which have to this point benefited much less from ML. This work was additionally featured in Google for India 2021.

    This work is a part of our AI for Social Good efforts and was led by Google Analysis, India. Because of all our collaborators at ARMMAN, Google Analysis India, Google.org, and College Relations: Aparna Hegde, Neha Madhiwalla, Suresh Chaudhary, Aditya Mate, Lovish Madaan, Shresth Verma, Gargi Singh, Divy Thakkar.

    1ARMMAN runs a number of applications to offer preventive care info to girls by way of being pregnant and infancy enabling them to hunt care, in addition to applications to coach and help well being staff for well timed detection and administration of high-risk situations. 


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