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John Snow Labs Data Philanthropy Project Applies Advanced Analytics to Improve Mental Health for HIV-Positive Teens

A newly published data analytics case study by John Snow Labs details the impact of their latest data philanthropy project: Helping the SHM Foundation to analyze and optimize the use of mobile support groups to enhance the mental health of HIV-positive adolescents in South Africa

The results of the analysis were presented at the AIDS 2016 International Conference – the world’s the largest conference on any global health or development issue. Speaking on John Snow Labs’ contribution to the project, Anna Kydd, SHM Foundation Director, said:John Snow Labs’ analysis enriched and enhanced our Khuluma findings which were presented and well received at AIDS 2016”. She concluded:John Snow Labs are professional, enthusiastic and knowledgeable and it has been an absolute pleasure working with them. I recommend them highly.

Particularly challenging for the SHM Foundation team has been finding a way to capture and analyze the rich content of the 40,000 text messages from the mobile support groups, and to link this information to the quantitative data collected through the baseline and exit questionnaires. John Snow Labs’ data science and analytics effort has provided them with insights and a direction for further exploration. These insights help pinpoint where changes among participants have occurred, and enable a better understand and refinement of the process of running the groups in future. They also provide a mechanism for meaningfully sharing the perspective and voices of a neglected population on a global stage like AIDS 2016.

John Snow Labs’ analysis of the Khuluma Project multiple diverse datasets involved elements of natural language processing, time series analysis and advanced statistics, performed at large scale. Project Khuluma provides psychosocial support for HIV positive adolescents in South Africa using small interactive support groups via mobile phone. The SHM Foundation collaborated with John Snow Labs to analyze the vast quantity of text messages collected from these support groups, to gain insights on how to improve and accelerate the program.

Key findings about the impact of the Khuluma Project include:

  • 17.4% improvement in regularly taking medication
  • 25.8% reduction in internalized stigma
  • 6.8% growth in feelings of social support

HIV-positive adolescents are a population that is often under-represented in the AIDS discussion. Providing a voice to such groups has been the theme of this year’s AIDS conference: “Access Equity Right Now”. Having hard metrics on the program’s effectiveness helps the SHM Foundation make the case for the need for interventions like Khuluma, and for the expansion of such interventions.

John Snow Labs is a global data operations and science company, and a leader in the growing space of Data Philanthropy. The company looks to continue contributing to global health initiatives, and is humbled and thankful to be able to make a difference, as summarized by Anna Kydd, the SHM Foundation’s Director:

“In assisting the SHM Foundation with analysis of their Khuluma project data, John Snow Labs have not only enabled us to see the full impact of the project on the participants, but have also contributed to the knowledge base about addressing the AIDS epidemic among adolescents, especially in South Africa.”

For further information, download the full case study here.

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