After two successful iterations of the Echovation Challenge in 2016 and 2017, the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) is once again hosting a challenge to help achieve our mission of accelerating innovation and shaping the future of cardiovascular ultrasound. This ASE initiative provides a platform and forum for ASE members, along with others in the entire medical/scientific community, to offer ground-breaking solutions to the challenges that face cardiovascular ultrasound and cardiac imaging as a whole.
Challenge 2018: Echo at the Speed of Life
Cardiovascular ultrasound is an exceptional clinical tool used to help provide insight into all aspects of cardiovascular disease. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare environment, it has become critically important for clinicians to quickly and accurately diagnose patients, so that targeted, effective, and personalized treatments can be chosen and begun.
The Challenge Objective
The overall objective for the Echovation Challenge is to showcase innovations in cardiovascular ultrasound technology that have the potential for faster diagnoses, optimal decision making, and improved quality and value for patients dealing with a variety of cardiovascular diseases.
While the Echovation Challenge is open to ANY innovations in the cardiac imaging realm that may achieve these goals, this year we are particularly interested in solutions within the following areas:
- Cost-effective imaging pathways: Complex disease states often require a team approach to establish a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan, requiring experts of various imaging modalities and collaboration among specialists for optimal patient outcomes. However, in this era of value-based payment models, finding ways to more efficiently integrate complementary modalities will be crucial to success.
- Automated Quantitative Echo: Echo must continuously improve its quantitative techniques in order to keep pace with other modalities. Additionally, automation of existing techniques will be critical to improving efficiency, reproducibility, and accuracy.
- Artificial intelligence and computational modeling: Exponential growth in computational speeds has led to development of cognitive techniques. The use of these computational techniques for transforming the echo images and data reports into a dashboard that provides disease blueprints that can eventually model treatment options would be an important breakthrough.
- Workflow innovations: In any busy cardiovascular imaging lab, there are always numerous challenges to efficiency, such as scheduling and throughput issues, contrast administration, education and training needs, and ergonomic concerns. Fostering wide-scale adoption of innovative solutions and best practices for such common struggles continues to be an important goal for ASE and the Echovation Challenge.
Submissions may include innovations that have already been established or may be in development in echocardiography laboratories and medical institutions throughout the United States and across the world. The Echovation Challenge is designed to encourage, spotlight, and ultimately promulgate advances in the cardiovascular imaging field. In addition, ASE hopes to facilitate multidisciplinary networking and collaboration within the field of cardiovascular imaging, linking researchers, industry, labs, engineers and thought-leaders to share information and educate one another.
The Challenge Breakthrough
ASE hopes to discover and promote the best practices and processes in an effort to enhance the diagnostic capabilities of cardiovascular ultrasound while maintaining excellence in patient care. To discover the best utilization of human and capital resources along with the incorporation of novel technologies, including but not limited to probe design, image visualization, computational modeling, myocardial mechanics, contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), data analytics, miniaturized ultrasound devices, smartphone and mobile imaging technologies, and therapy planning.
What You Can Do To Get Engaged
- Click “Watch the Challenge" above to be notified of any status updates to the challenge.
- Click "Yes Sign Me Up!" above to register for the 2018 challenge. You will be notified of any status updates and be able to create an entry to the challenge when you are ready.
- Click on the "Share" button or social media icons above to share this challenge with anyone you know that has a passion for discovery.
- Leave a comment in our Comments Thread to join the conversation, ask questions, provide feedback or connect with other innovators.
Submissions must present an original idea or offer an innovative adaptation or approach to a previously implemented idea that relates directly to the cardiovascular ultrasound field. All submissions should have evidence of at least partial execution of concept. Such evidence may include research findings, documentation of time/cost savings or improved outcomes, a prototype of a program or device, or any other relevant information.
Submissions can include, but are not limited to, the following: a technical or novel proposal, a concept paper or implemented echo practice re-design, pilot projects that are pragmatic and implementable that offer an innovative approach to improving efficiency in echocardiography laboratories. Submissions are encouraged to be team-based projects—e.g., projects delivered by a partnership between a device manufacturer and an academic lab or a private practice office and a software developer or a team of researchers working with a lab(s) to demonstrate a novel idea.
Competitors must document and deliver their solution by presenting a written document, no longer than 2 pages with content to include:
- Introduction (outline the problem)
- Solution or proposed solution
- Outcome measures, such as research findings
- What was the most interesting or surprising thing you learned in the process?
- What were / are the major roadblocks or difficulties you faced during the process?
- How will this process or product change the field of CV ultrasound?
The Challenge is open to all members of the American Society of Echocardiography and to the public at large. Proposed solutions may be applicable to any and all medical subspecialties or patient types, including pediatrics, as long as cardiovascular ultrasound is involved in some way.
Submissions can be from a single individual or a group of individuals, although ASE strongly encourages innovators to work in teams. Teams could be comprised of a variety of stakeholders, including but not limited to physicians, sonographers, nurses, industry affiliates, and hospital administrators; we encourage you to be creative! At least one non-industry ASE member must be a part of the challenge submission group.
If you are not a current ASE member, please click here to learn about the benefits of ASE membership. ASE’s membership is open to anyone interested in cardiovascular ultrasound including engineers, industry, hospital administrators, scientists, etc.
To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the Challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement (available during Registration).
Registration and Submissions
ASE will open the registration/submission period on October 18, 2017. All competitors/teams must be fully registered by February 23, 2018 at 5:00 PM ET to be eligible for the prize. No registrations will be accepted after this date and no changes to Teams may be made after this date.
All submission materials must be submitted online on or before February 23, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET. No submissions will be accepted after this time. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted. All submissions must be received online, via the Challenge website.
Challenge Guidelines and deadlines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made; however, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge Site often to review updates.
How to Win the Challenge
The Phase 1 Evaluation Panel will select three (3) finalist teams, who may be asked to submit additional materials for consideration. These finalists will be invited to present in front of an audience and live judging panel on Sunday, June 24, 2018, during ASE’s 29th Annual Scientific Sessions in Nashville, TN. This live session will be interactive and feature a large viewing audience.
No cost is associated with registering for this event. All submissions agree to pay their own expenses to the ASE Scientific Sessions and underwrite any related presentation materials, should they be selected for presentation. ASE will promote the finalists in their final program materials and to the media.
Evaluation & Awards
ASE will award three (3) prizes based on the most innovative, creative ideas and implementable plans, totaling $10,000. Winners and prizes will be determined by a combination of the Evaluation Panel and audience input; details of which will be provided at a later date.
The three cash prizes to be awarded are:
- 1st Prize - $5,000
- 2nd Prize - $3,000
- 3rd Prize - $2,000
In addition all three winners will be announced in the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE), in media releases, via ASE’s social media channels, and in ASE member communications. One or more of the winning proposals may also be featured in a future issue of ASE’s ECHO magazine, distributed to all members and at multiple medical conferences.
The evaluation panel reserves the right to provide mentorship to promising submissions even if not selected for a monetary prize.
The Phase 1 Evaluation Panel will include a variety of qualified individuals from the ASE membership. This panel will be responsible for evaluating all components of each submission. It will have the authority and discretion to select three finalists and may also select additional submissions for “honorable mention.”
The Live Evaluation Panel may include some or all members of the Phase 1 Evaluation Panel, as well as additional qualified individuals from various medical and non-medical backgrounds. Evaluation Panel decisions and winners are final, binding and shall not be subject to appeal or change.
Winning submissions will describe an innovative idea to streamline cardiovascular ultrasound diagnosis in some way. Concepts may involve various new innovations including but not limited to the following:
- New or underutilized imaging modalities such as 3D echocardiography, strain imaging, contrast enhanced ultrasound
- New approaches in Big Data or computational modeling
- New display designs
- Cloud computing platforms
- New mobile health technologies with integrated ultrasound imaging
- New imaging and sensor based technologies
- Ultrasound guided 3D printing
- Ultrasound related technologies for structural heart disease
- Ultrasound guidance for targeted therapies
*All concepts must incorporate cardiovascular ultrasound in the proposal.
The following scorecard will be used to assess competitor submissions.
Submission Evaluation Criteria
Maximum Points Awarded
Pragmatic and Sustainable; Ease of implementation / time to implementation
Reduces Patient Time in the Laboratory and/or Provider Interpretation Time
Utilizes Capital Equipment more Efficiently
Incorporates New Technology (3D, Strain, Contrast, etc.)
Showcases collaborative, multi-disciplinary work
“Wow” factor, creativity, innovative