Home

SaveSave

The ECHO Program

The scientific goal of ECHO, a research program launched by the National Institutes of Health, is to understand the effects of a broad range of early environmental influences on child health and development. ECHO uses information from existing longitudinal research projects (cohorts) that will include more than 50,000 children from diverse backgrounds across the United States. Together, these cohorts follow participants from before they are born through childhood and adolescence. ECHO also supports a 17-state clinical trials network to test prevention and treatment strategies among children from rural and medically underserved backgrounds.

Mission

To enhance the health of children for generations to come.

Program Objectives

  • Improve the health of children and adolescents by conducting observational and interventional research that will inform high-impact programs, policies, and practices.
  • Institute best practices for conducting Team Science in the 21st century, giving researchers the tools to work collaboratively to improve child health.

ECHO studies share standardized core data elements.

The core elements to be addressed across all studies include:

  • Demographics
  • Typical early health and development
  • Genetic influences on early childhood health and development
  • Environmental factors
  • Person-Reported Outcomes (PROs)
On August 11th, 2017 the NIH published an RFI seeking feedback from stakeholders and the general public on the ECHO-wide Cohort Data Collection Protocol. The RFI specifically requested feedback and recommendations on the data element concepts, types of biospecimens, and innovative data collection methodology. The NIH received a number of responses from researchers, professional organizations, nonprofit organizations, and research foundations. View the responses to this RFI here. The NIH thanks all responders for their input.

ECHO's Five Health Outcomes

The studies focus on five key pediatric outcomes that have a high public health impact:

  • Pre-, peri-, and postnatal
  • Upper and lower airway
  • Obesity
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Positive Health

Video

News Feed

  • International Journal Highlights ECHO’s Novelty and Necessity in Obesity Research A recent article on childhood obesity in the US, published in the International Journal of Obesity, details results from an ECHO study of more than 37,000 babies and kids and describes the unique features that make the ECHO Program exceptionally valuable for obesity research. The authors note that ECHO “holds promise to provide insight into the mechanisms that promote overweight and ...
  • ECHO Researchers Identify Gaps in Prenatal Opioid Exposure Research This week, Pediatrics published results from ECHO researcher Elisabeth Conradt and her team’s efforts to learn more about prenatal opioid exposure and its effects on child development. Conradt and her team reviewed 52 publications to summarize what is known and make suggestions on how to expand knowledge in this area. The resulting article includes perspectives on how the ECHO Program ...
  • ECHO Program Activates First Sites under the ECHO-wide Cohort Data Collection Protocol June 19, 2019 The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program announced today that it has activated its first sites to begin data collection under the ECHO-wide Cohort Data Collection Protocol. Congratulations to the Safe Passage Study (PASS) Cohort, led by Principal Investigator Amy Elliott, sites at Avera Health – Rapid City and Avera Health – Sioux Falls. “This site activation ...