Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

Technology Series: Makalu

By Ankit Pradhan

Deerwalk Services is one of the leading software companies in Nepal which is run in collaboration with Deerwalk Inc. USA. The main aim of this company is to build software products related to health and to burgeon in the field of Big Data technology. For that purpose, the company is divided into different teams each of which has its own subject of emphasis, or put simply, product of emphasis. Team Makalu, a team comprising 40 members, is one of the different teams in Deerwalk focusing on developing Big Data solutions. The product that it prioritizes on building is Makalu. The main work of Makalu, which is one of the valued Deerwalk products demonstrating Big Data technology, is data analysis. For that purpose, it uses efficient tech-tools such as Hadoop, along with Cascading technology, and Elastic Search. Data analysis and processing being the team's work of interest, its product, that is Makalu, analyses, processes and organizes vast amount of data related to health as per the request of the user. Initially, the data may be in any format or in any form, but ultimately, Makalu maintains and stores these data in the format standardized by Deerwalk. Later, the data maintained in standard format go through a redundancy check. The software then systematizes the data for use by the third party. Makalu incorporates data warehouse which functions as a storehouse of large amount of current as well as bygone data. However, understanding that only accumulating and storing bulk of data isn't the only purpose of Big Data technology, Makalu provides its users with the facility of high power analysis and processing on the data as per requirement. It provides options to generate analysis on any desired section of population. Further, it assists in query and report generations which enable any of its users to come up with effective business decisions and initiatives. Not only does it perform analysis, but it also provides details of analysis to its users hence making the entire data analysis process transparent. In addition, it provides facilities of risk analysis and reporting in nearly-real time hence increasing efficiency with respect to time and cost. The services that this product provides attract many users. This product is mainly used by insurance companies. Insurance companies use it, for example, to check whether the people who have done their health insurance are cheating the company by any means. The product Makalu focuses on tracking these details and helping its users. One of the examples of such a case can be as follows: Suppose a patient has taken medicine, which has time limit for 30 days, from a pharmacy. But, if the patient doesn’t come back to take more medicine after 30th day, then it is evident that he is not taking medicines timely. Later, if he demands for anything, such as a pay, related to that issue from the health insurance company, it clearly means that he is deceiving the company and just using it for his self-benefit. Makalu software will be monitoring such issue and will be reporting the insurance company about it so that the company can figure out who its honest clients are and who aren't. Therefore, it eases the work of insurance companies and enhances its worth of being utilized. In other words, it prevents the companies from going into loss and takes care of the health of the company's active clients. Furthermore, this product is also used in the educational field. Makalu is being taught in Western Michigan University as a tool for performing Database Analysis Exercises. An adjunct professor of Healthcare Information Technology, Haworth College of Business, Western Michigan University, said that Makalu served useful purpose in conducting lab classes with his students when performing health care data warehouse queries. This makes it evident that Makalu is not only benefiting people in the professional field, but also helping the students in meeting their educational goals. Makalu software is being highly used in the USA for health care by insurance companies. However, in the context of Nepal, as there are hardly any health policies here, the software is not serving its motive. Though Nepal is developing and computers are being used in majority of work fields, Nepalese people are not so health concerned and only visit hospitals in case of chronic issues. So, it becomes difficult to accumulate required data and make the software seem useful. "If some health policies are developed in Nepal, software like this can be used here as well. We are really looking forward to increasing the numbers of users of this product in Nepal." said Dinesh Amatya and Parkash Bhatta, who are senior software engineer and principle engineer respectively of Team Makalu.