Spotlight: Eko Health CORE products offer precision for providers

The company's signature product, the CORE Digital attachment for stethoscopes, uses AI technology to help diagnose heart and lung sounds

Company name: Eko Health
Signature Product: CORE Digital attachment for stethoscopes

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Eko is a play on words combining the short form of echocardiogram often referred to as “echo” and EKG, the common abbreviation for electrocardiogram.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

The concept behind Eko started when Connor, our co-founder and CEO, was finishing his master’s degree at the University of California at Berkley. He surfaced a particular market need in healthcare when speaking with a group of cardiologists. Connor discovered that listening for certain heart and lung sounds through a stethoscope was surprisingly difficult for many healthcare professionals and proficiency across different providers was highly varied. The doctors even equated the difficultly to needing a “musically-trained” ear to hear certain heart and lung sounds.

Connor took the learnings back to the drawing board and assembled our co-founders to conceptualize a solution. Inspired by the fact that AI technology at that time, like Shazam, could identify song titles from audible music, they imagined a technology that could do the same for heart and lung sounds. They sought to add this capability to the stethoscope — mindful about retaining its familiar form factor so that workflows wouldn’t have to be drastically altered.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?

Our signature product is the CORE Digital Attachment. It’s the hardware component that unlocks the full sound and software experience of Eko CORE technology. Users can purchase the CORE Digital Attachment independently to digitize and enhance their existing analog stethoscope or preassembled on our Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope, both of which enable the full range of Eko features, including wireless auscultation and synchronous listening for telehealth.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the EMS community?

Our products have helped hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals listen to their patients more clearly and confidently at the point of care. Our products are, and will continue to be, essential to healthcare workers at all stages of the care continuum because it provides both an efficient and crucial method of physically assessing patients both in-person and in telehealth settings.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

Our biggest challenge was adjusting quickly to meet the skyrocketing needs of our healthcare community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw our supply chains and operations become immediately stressed as we worked to quickly meet the demand for telehealth-ready devices and wireless auscultation. We were able to partner closely with our customers at such a critical time and dedicate our time and resources to support them in any way we possibly could. It was truly humbling to witness the resilience and compassion of our healthcare community during such a challenging time.

6. What makes your company unique?

We’re a company that not only provides innovative technology but seeks to immerse ourselves in the lives of our healthcare professionals and patients. We actively and consistently engage with our community of healthcare professionals to celebrate their successes, share in their struggles and uplift their voices. Understanding needs is one thing but putting ourselves directly in the shoes of our healthcare professionals is what helps us shape our products and services the way our providers would craft it for themselves.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

The full Eko experience is based on several factors but two that we commonly hear delighted feedback on is the sound quality of our products and the helpfulness and personability of our customer success experience. EMS professionals and clinicians that work in noisy and unpredictable environments have consistently reported their delight around how Eko products help them hear sounds clearly and the confidence it gives them when they’re under pressure in time-sensitive situations.

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

The heroic efforts of our first responders are unmatched. We’re inspired and honored to be of service to them in any way we possibly can. The most rewarding part is simply hearing their amazing stories of courageousness and loyalty to their communities. A great example is the story of the Berwyn Fire Company seen here.

9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety/community?

We do. Eko Cares is our social impact initiative through which we provide products, services, and support to healthcare providers globally, whose mission is to care for underserved communities. Our annual goal is to donate up to $200,000 worth of Eko products annually through partnerships with non-profit, community-based healthcare organizations that are primarily supporting underserved communities.

10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you'd like to share about your company?

Coincidently, we released the Eko CORE Stethoscope on the 200th anniversary of when the stethoscope was first invented.

11. What's next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

Our goal is to reinvent the way healthcare professionals detect and manage cardiopulmonary disease. We’re looking to increase the number of disease states our algorithms can identify and simplify workflow through expanded integration with key telehealth partners.

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