Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

What is the name of your organization?


What is the name of your solution?


Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Democratizing access to fetal ultrasound with AI

What specific problem are you solving?

The WHO recommends at leat one fetal ultrasound during a pregnancy. However quality fetal ultrasound is far from available in countries of the global south as well as the USA. This examination indepndently reduces fetal and maternal mortality rates. Because of the flourishing of cheap portable ultrasound machines, the hardware is not the bottleneck amymore, it’s the software. At Deepecho we automate parts of the screening fetal ultrasound scan to streamline processes for trained sonographers and allow minimally trained operators perform part of the examination.

What is your solution?

Our webapp supports ultrasound images and video from all sources and all types of ultrasound machines. Our AI algorithms are able to detect and segment relevant structures in real time to help the operator perform biometric measurements and take optimal images of the standard planes.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our target population is the vast number of pregnant people all over the world who currently do not have access to quality prenatal ultrasound because of socio-economic or geographic reasons. Predominantly in countries of the Global South, but in the USA as well. We focus on the screening scan which is the most basic and vital ultrasound examination. By democratizing access to fetal ulrasound, we will enable early diagnosis of life threatening conditions such as fetal growth restriction, placenta previa, and preeclampsia.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

We are a diverse team composed of medical doctors, ML and data engineers that are all from Morocco. Our doctors both in managerial positions and annotation processes are all trained in fetal ultrasound amd have deepe knowledge of patient management and treatment. We are all committed to drastically reduce fetal and maternal mortalitity rates in our country, the Global South, and the world at largr.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

  • Augmenting and assisting human caregivers.
  • Creating and streamlining human-centered processes for delivering, providing equitable access to, managing and paying for healthcare.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Rabat, Morocco

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model, but which is not yet serving anyone

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. delivery, logistics, expanding client base)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Saad Slimani

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

DeepEcho’s approach to addressing fetal health issues is both innovative and transformative. By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), DeepEcho has developed a software that can analyze ultrasound images of fetuses and diagnose developmental issues. This is a significant improvement over traditional methods, which rely heavily on the expertise of medical professionals and can sometimes miss subtle signs of potential problems.

Our solution could catalyze broader positive impacts in the healthcare sector by setting a new standard for prenatal care. The use of AI in diagnosing fetal health issues could inspire other healthtech companies to explore similar applications of AI, leading to advancements in other areas of healthcare. This could result in improved patient outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and increased accessibility to high-quality healthcare services.

In terms of market impact, our solution could revolutionize the prenatal care market. By providing a more accurate and efficient method for diagnosing fetal health issues, DeepEcho could potentially reduce the number of preventable neonatal deaths and birth defects. This could lead to increased demand for our product, driving growth in the healthtech sector. 

How does your solution address or plan to address UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 for Good Health and Well-Being?

DeepEcho’s solution directly addresses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) for Good Health and Well-being. SDG 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, with a specific target (3.2) to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age.

DeepEcho’s AI-powered software is designed to prevent birth defects and address issues related to preterm birth and low birth weight, which are significant contributors to neonatal mortality. By diagnosing Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR), one of the leading causes of neonatal deaths and birth defects, DeepEcho is directly contributing to reducing neonatal mortality, thereby aligning with the objectives of SDG 3.

Furthermore, DeepEcho’s solution could potentially increase access to quality healthcare services, particularly in low-resource settings where access to skilled healthcare professionals may be limited. By leveraging AI, DeepEcho can provide accurate diagnoses regardless of the location or resources available, thereby promoting health equity - another key aspect of SDG 3.

In the future, DeepEcho plans to continue its work on in vivo clinical trials and publish our results, further contributing to advancements in prenatal care and reinforcing antenatal diagnosis. This ongoing commitment to innovation and improvement further underscores DeepEcho’s alignment with SDG 3.

Describe the AI components and underlying data that powers your solution.

DeepEcho leverages a novel and proprietary dataset of annotated fetal ultrasound images, from 6 facilities in Morocco and 20 in the state of New York, which is one of the world’s largest of its kind. This dataset is crucial for training our AI and ML algorithms to recognize standard views and detect key standard planes with high accuracy. The algorithms are also able to measure the main fetal structures with extreme precision.

In terms of acquiring good, curated data, DeepEcho partners with medical professionals and healthcare institutions from around the world to collect ultrasound images. These images are then annotated by our team of 10 medical doctors to ensure the accuracy of the data. This process ensures that the data used to train our AI models is both high-quality and relevant.

We also developed a proprietary way to gather video data directly from live ultrasound scans to augment data density which is currently deployed in 5 machines in Casablanca and 7 in New York.

Finally we are conducting in vivo clinical trials providing us with more data that is tailored to our needs and those of our patients.

How are you ensuring ethical and responsible use of AI in your work? How are you addressing or mitigating potential risks in your solution?

Privacy and Security Concerns: DeepEcho handles data with the utmost care as we have developed our proprietary anonymization algorithms that work both on Dicom and video/image data. We are in the process of certifying our algorithms by a third party auditing firm to ensure compliance with HIPAA, GDPR and international guidelines.

Policy Implications:  We operate in Morocco in compliance with the CNDP (national commission for the protection of personal data) and are in the process of submitting our 510 k premarket FDA approval to be eligible for commercialization in the USA.

Ethical Risks: We are working closely with the Institutional Review Boards of three universities to ensure we do not harm or let harm be caused to patients participating in our studies. 

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Goal 1: Reduce fetal and maternal mortality: DeepEcho aims to significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of prenatal diagnosis to reduce maternal and fetal mortality. It has been proven that the sole addition to ultrasound scans in low-resource environment prevented maternal and fetal death. By leveraging AI and ML algorithms, DeepEcho can potentialize the benefits of fetal ultrasound images in different areas and allow pregnant people to receive timely diagnosis and care.

Goal 2: Increase Access to Quality Healthcare: Another key goal is to increase access to quality healthcare services, particularly in low-resource settings. DeepEcho’s AI-powered solution can provide accurate diagnoses regardless of the location or resources available, thereby promoting health equity.

Goal 3: Foster Innovation in Healthtech: DeepEcho also aims to foster innovation in the healthtech sector, we are currently conducting studies on new imaging biomarkers which we think will redefine the use of ultrasound as a whole. 

Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?

Full time staff: chief executive officer, chief technology officer, five data scientists, two data engineers, three ML engineers

part time: Chief medical officer, Chief science officer, clinical and data lead, ten medical doctors for data annotation

How long have you been working on your solution?

Three years

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

DeepEcho is committed to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into our work. This commitment is reflected in various aspects of the organization.

Diversity in Leadership: We believe in the power of diverse perspectives and experiences. The leadership team is composed of individuals from different backgrounds, just like our Clinical Team Lead, bringing a wealth of knowledge and unique insights to the table. This diversity fosters innovation and drives the development of a solution that caters to a wide range of needs.

Equity in Access: Our mission is to reinforce antenatal diagnosis and prevent birth defects, particularly in vulnerable populations. By leveraging AI, DeepEcho can provide accurate diagnoses regardless of the location or resources available, thereby promoting health equity. This is particularly important in Morocco, and other countries of the Global south, where access to quality healthcare services may be limited.

Inclusivity in Solution Development: Our solution is designed with inclusivity in mind. The AI models are trained on a diverse dataset of annotated fetal ultrasound images from Africa, North America and Europe, ensuring that the solution is effective across different populations. 

Actions Taken: To achieve these goals, we have taken several actions. These include actively recruiting individuals from diverse backgrounds, collaborating with local healthcare providers to reach underserved populations, and continuously refining our AI models to ensure they are inclusive and effective.

Your Operational Plan & Funding

What is your operational model and plan?

We already have partnerships with both Maternal and Fetal Medicine practices in the US as well as some of the leading portable probe manufacturers to deploy our solution as soon as we are FDA approved. We plan on submitting our 510k application on Q1 2024.

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Our cloud costs are minimal per API call, thus we plan on adapting the price and payment method depending on the client, location and humanitarian need. MFM and radiology centers can subscibe and pay a monthly/annual subscription. For portable probe users a pay-per-use system will be put in place.

What are your current operating costs, and what are your projected operating costs for the next year? Please include human capital estimates.

Current operating costs: 43k/month

Projected operating costs for the next year: 65k/month

Details of the Business Plan can be made available upon request

Applicants can request and receive funding at a minimum of 50k and maximum of $100k. How much funding are you seeking to continue your work in 2024, and how did you select this number? What would you use this funding for? Funding is limited; please consider carefully the right amount to request.

We raised a seed round in Q2 and are looking for a bridge to allow us to accelerate our R&D efforts.
We will probably be raising a total of 1 million USD from our current backers as well as Cure. If we win this challenge.

We have a lot of different mew features in progress (preeclampsia and post partum hemorrhage prediction to name a few) and want to be able to tackle multiple research efforts at once.

The Cure Residency will provide winners with seed funding, mentorship, lab space, mentorship, educational programming, and networking opportunities. How do you imagine this opportunity will help support your work? Which aspects of the Cure Residency would you be most excited about?

Our Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder, Saad Slimani will be moving to New York in february 2024 to manage our different partnerships with local clinics, supervise our clinical trials and seek new partners. The timing of the Cure. Residency is absolutely perfect for us to hit the ground running in an environment that fosters and values innovation. We are particularly excited about the networking opportunities.

Solution Team

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