echOpen – the development continues

Last month, the Deep Games Collision Event took place at CERN, IdeaSquare in connection with OpenCare - a project run by a consortium of partners and funded by the European Union under Horizon2020.

When technology collides with reality, change occurs. When people think beyond ordinary limits of what’s possible age-old problems can be solved. This disruption was evident at the Collision event in January, where enrichment, acceleration, and semi-random interaction paved the way for ideas to evolve into viable, resilient and independent initiatives. There were projects that are guaranteed to revolutionize various facets of society.


Olivier de Fresnoye, co-founder of the initiative, echOpen came away with skills to communicate more effectively, to engage their imaginations more readily, and to approach his work with increased confidence, commitment, and insight.

It was an experience to engage in discussions with physicists and researchers and place the project under the scope of an international environment.

Challenges Ahead

echOpen is in the process of seeking collaboration with key partners and resources to support a global effort to reach project goals.  Finishing the new version of the prototype with medical quality images and making the components smaller for manufacturing is the challenge ahead.  The vision of this community-based open-source product is to share on a globally and distribute in Africa and South-East Asia. This new admission to healthcare will help solve problems faced by developing countries.

echOpen, open-source, low-cost ultrasound stethoscope which connects to a smartphone or tablet could revolutionize access to healthcare by simplifying the diagnosis while opening up new opportunities for doctors and emerging countries.

It’s easy to use and will produce ultrasound imagery for a wide range of examinations and then can be shared to obtain diagnostic assistance virtually.

Scanners and sonographs are not accessible to a large population making echOpen a benefit to healthcare professionals by delivering faster and precise diagnostic imaging. echOpen was born in late 2014 as a community project gathering people interested in health and open-source solutions for the future of medicine all over the world. The progress and achievements remain on-going with a growing community of over 200 members, including doctors, engineers, electronic engineers, programmers, radiologists etc.

Benefit for humanitarian missions

The humanitarian field is also very interested, says Olivier, whose experience includes the scientific coordination of humanitarian missions in South-East Asia. Interest has spurred widely with several NGO’s towards its accessibility to use ultrasound in medically deprived areas. 

Changes to Healthcare Access

By improving access to medical imaging open source will change the direction of diagnosis, in emergency services as well as in regions lacking healthcare provisions. The system can be used by practitioners in cities and hospitals and be beneficial in saving lives.

During these workshops, scenarios are explored to gain awareness of the possibilities and foster creative thinking within the projects. This method of hands-on and minds-on approach produced transformative results while enhancing innovation and performance. 

This is what Olivier had to say about his experience:

 “The ability to discuss the project with mentors from different backgrounds was nourishing and intense. I’d like to say what a complete “eye-opener” this had been for me.  It was exactly what I needed to bring this project further and I have walked away with the confidence and the determination to make the necessary changes. During the 2 days, we realized our strength was not being used to the maximum. 
With the focus on methodologies, tips and ideas and the interaction with different mentors has given new life to this project and enables us to achieve long-term success.  These events should be held every 2 months as they add value to any project, in various stages of any development.” Olivier de Fresnoye

Build with echOpen

Globally, medical imaging is a scarce commodity – its cost and complexity restrict its availability mostly to industrialized countries and larger hospitals. EchOpen aims towards a low-cost, easy to build and operate open-source hardware. With this combination, innovation and the open-source philosophy has the potential to lower costs and make health care accessible from the community to the community.

For more expression of interest for echOpen, or for community discussions please visit the website. echOpen is looking for active participants, collaborators. Is that you? The echOpen community is available for anyone that wants to be part of an open science community. Hardware design, software development, or user-interest, they want to hear from you. 

Collisions provide the venue to bring people together that share a responsibility for the future and to continuously aim to tackle solutions to big problems and make the world a better place. Ideas, technologies, and practices sparking to create a new frontier of innovation. If you’re interested in participating, sponsoring or hosting Collision Event, please contact us at

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Maria Simonetti | February 2017