NIH Announces Plans for ECHO Program
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a notice, Announcement of NIH Plans for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program (NOT-OD-16-015), detailing the agency’s plans for program, also known as the National Children’s Study (NCS) alternative (see Update, July 17, 2015). The agency reports that it intends to “support multiple synergistic, longitudinal studies using extant maternal/pediatric cohorts that represent a broad range of environmental exposures,” including behavioral and social exposures. According to the notice, “all longitudinal studies will collect a standardized, targeted set of data (Core Elements), such as demographics, normative development, patient/person reported outcomes (PRO), environmental exposures, and genetic influences.” ECHO-supported studies will focus on four key pediatric outcomes or focus areas: (1) upper and lower airway; (2) obesity; (3) pre-, peri-, and postnatal outcomes; and (4) neurodevelopment. The program will also seek to “leverage the existing Institutional Development Award (IDeA) infrastructure” through its inclusion of a States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network.