Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about ECHO. For other questions feel free to contact us.

What benefits does ECHO provide me as a care provider?

By aligning with other care providers across Europe, you stand stronger in your pursuit of data delivery when applying for ECHO. It makes it easier for manufacturers to get the budget to modify their ICT systems to deliver data when all countries are asking for the same thing.

What benefits does ECHO provide me as a manufacturer?

  • You will save a great deal of time and effort in data discussions.
  • It reduces the development costs.
  • It allows you to focus on quality.
  • It allows you to strategically and pro-actively prepare for the next developments in data exchange.
  • It reduces implementation timelines, allowing you to share your data with more care providers.

What benefits does ECHO provide me as a GS1 Member Organisation (MO)?

  • By joining the ECHO team, you gain a network of committed GS1 MO’s and their stakeholders. We can help you get good quality data to your care providers and we can help you help your local manufacturers. Activating a complete market takes a lot of time and efforts but the ECHO program allows you to benefit by the work already done.
  • It provides you with a harmonised strategy to match the global standard making it easier for new stakeholders to get on board.

How many countries have integrated the ECHO strategy?

In 2016 three countries piloted the collaboration: The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. In 2017 the team piloted onboarding two new countries: Spain and Denmark. End 2017 it was approved to fully roll the ECHO program out to all European countries.

What steps do I need to take to be able to receive product data via GDSN?

Refer to your local GS1 Member Organisation and register for a Global Location Number (GLN) and for a GDSN connection.

How do I inform my manufacturers that I want to start receiving product data according to the ECHO strategy?

Mail your manufacturers and inform them of the steps you want to take. Refer them to the position paper for manufacturers to communicate internally, the ECHO data model in order to prepare and the GS1 MO for further questions.

Why was it decided to start with the regulatory requirements for 2018?

All manufacturers producing products for use in the U.S., the U.K. and/or Europe must comply with the medical device regulations. Regulation compliance is the top priority of manufacturers because otherwise they cannot sell their products. As several deadlines have already passed and manufacturers have provided their product data, there are millions of data already available for use by care providers.

When will my data requirements be fulfilled?

The ECHO team expects to have a 5-year roadmap developed by Q3-2018. The general approach will be to add the requirements that have the most added value to the healthcare market in the beginning of the roadmap and the requirements with the least value will be placed towards the end of the roadmap. Please discuss your requirements with your local GS1 Member Organisation so they can bring them to the discussion.

Will ECHO work for other GS1 standards?

The ECHO team will continually look ahead to align efforts in implementations. At the moment, the focus is on GDSN but the way of working together fits with future technologies like the GS1 Cloud and GS1 Mobile for example.

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