Under the KB hood

 Q and A with Tanooj, CTO of KB
Q: Why NFC?
NFC is currently the cheapest, most reliable method of storing this type of information.  The technology has been around for a long enough time that it is very standardized, and is becoming more and more documented, and it doesn’t look like it will be phasing out for a while too.

Q: What does a standup look like? (us-Nigeria-IN)
We use Google hangouts to conduct our standups, at a time that’s appropriate for everybody in each timezone.  Usually go over the work that was done the previous day, what the plan for the current day is and discuss any interesting issues that have come up that could use another set of eyes.

Q: What are some interesting use cases tackled?
Reading/Writing to an NFC chip while guaranteeing a very high success rate can be tricky.  The hardware itself can always fail, and the software needs to have an appropriate level of safeguards to handle an incorrect sync between the chip and the device.
Similarly, since each phone is its own source of truth, the network of mobile applications have also created a distributed storage system.  Getting all of these to communicate to a single backend and share information leads to interesting challenges as well.
Q: Describe the evolution from K B 1.0 to 2.0
The evolution from KB 1.0 to 2.0 was a major improvement.  We expanded health support to mothers and children. To achieve this, we completely rewrote the backend as well as the android phone.  We worked together with some great design agencies to develop a new mobile application is much more usable, user friendly, and streamlined for the desired workflows.  The amount of health information for children and mothers has also skyrocketed. We are now collecting and tabulating much more information that in KB 1.0.
Q: How many lines of code? Rows of documentation?
— Ruby: 5200 code, 1100 documentation
— HTML/CSS: 5000 code
— Java: 20,000 code, 8000 documentation
— Java XML (UI): 25000 code (this number is a little weird to talk about but it is what it is) 
Q: How will this integrate into the Government of India system?
We’re not sure yet, the government systems are a little bit dated, and haven’t been designed with this type of integration and partnership.  There’s definitely room to work together with the government and design a really comprehensive solution.  Ideally we want to be able to share health information back and forth, so everybody can benefit from the information collected from both sides.
Q: Google balloons, 4 5, block chain, BLE, zip line, biometrics, encryption. Give us a hint of what we may have up our sleeve.
Google loon offers a really interesting offer to our product.  If internet connectivity becomes much more prevalent in rural areas, the decentralized nature may not be as complicated.  The information could go back to the dashboards. Thus, reaching the appropriate people much quicker.  Updates from central places can reach the health workers much faster, allowing for better point of contact care.
There’s also a lot more information that we can be tracking in these health centers.  I have seen a ton of new companies doing research in cheap blood testing devices that connect to Android devices.  Being able to collaborate with them could allow us to diagnose and keep track of many more health parameters on top of just the vaccination records.
Q: what does tech for good mean to you?
Technology offers unique situations where a relatively small amount of work can be leveraged to provide benefit to a much larger population.  The idea of tech for good is taking this multiplier, and applying it to some of the biggest pain points that people in underserved areas feel every day.

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