About the ECHO Program

The ECHO Program has two major components, the ECHO Cohort—for observational research, and the ECHO Institutional Development Award (IDeA) States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN)—for intervention research. Learn more about the ECHO Program through the Program Organizational Chart and the ECHO Strategic Plan.


To enhance the health of children for generations to come.

ECHO’s Five Health Outcomes

ECHO research focuses on five key pediatric outcomes that have a high public health impact:

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

ECHO Cohort

The primary goal of the ECHO Cohort is to bring diverse participant populations together into one large ECHO Cohort so that ECHO investigators and the wider community of scientists can address research questions about effects of a broad range of early environmental exposures on child health and development, questions that no smaller study can answer alone. The ECHO Cohort follows children and their mothers (and some fathers) long-term. In most cases, it recruited participants prenatally.

Standardized Core Data Elements

ECHO Cohort Study Sites share standardized core data elements managed by a central coordinating center and an associated data analysis center. Although each study site is unique, the collection of data in a similar way ensures that all information can be combined and used by researchers. The core elements addressed across all sites are:

  • Demographics
  • Typical early health and development
  • Genetic influences on early childhood health and development
  • Environmental factors

The ECHO Cohort participant population includes children from diverse backgrounds across the United States, supports approaches that can evolve as science does, and takes advantage of technological advances.

As of September 2023, the ECHO Cohort has data from over 107,000 participants, which includes over 64,000 children.

ECHO IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN)

ECHO ISPCTN helps address disparities in pediatric research by including children from rural or underserved populations in clinical trials, and by building pediatric research capacity in states with historically low NIH funding.

By conducting clinical trials focused in ECHO’s five outcome areas, this 18-state network helps researchers gain knowledge that will enhance the health of children in IDeA states. Because ECHO ISPCTN includes a presence in rural and underserved areas, it is well-positioned to address health issues that disproportionately affect those communities. The network provides a broad scope of research not limited to a single population, specialty, condition, or age group.

ECHO ISPCTN also builds research capacity by strengthening an institution’s ability to support biomedical research and enhancing the competitiveness of its investigators in securing future research funding.

To learn more about our research and find information for families, stakeholder organizations, and researchers, please visit the ECHO Coordinating Center website.

This page last reviewed on September 22, 2023