Mike Childs: The Heartbeat of Eko's Acoustic Innovation

Summary: Mike Childs, Principal Engineer at Eko, embodies a blend of expertise, passion, and innovation that drives the company's groundbreaking advancements in digital stethoscope technology. His journey at Eko is a testament to his commitment to enhancing medical tools, ensuring they deliver unparalleled audio quality to clinicians worldwide.
Mike Childs: The Heartbeat of Eko's Acoustic Innovation
"I’m really proud of the CORE 500™ because we introduced an earpiece with speakers positioned at the listener’s ears. Essentially, we developed high-quality headphones and designed them to fit into a stethoscope package." 
A dynamic role in acoustic excellence

From the outset, Mike Child's role at Eko has been pivotal. As he explains, "As Principal Engineer at Eko, I’m responsible for the acoustic design and development of our products. This includes the application of new technologies and troubleshooting any issues that come up from a design or assembly perspective. I work as part of a small and dynamic engineering team; we often cross over expertise and learn from one another." This cross-functional collaboration is at the heart of Eko's innovation, fostering a culture where diverse ideas converge to create superior medical devices.

An acoustic journey: From college to cutting-edge

Before joining Eko, Mike's career was steeped in the world of acoustics, a field he has been passionate about since his college days. "I’ve been in acoustics since college. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do because it keeps my mind engaged and asking questions," he says. His previous experience leading an acoustics team that developed audio solutions for consumer electronics provided a solid foundation. This background, focused on the intricate challenges of micro-speakers in mobile phones and smart home speakers, honed his ability to push design and manufacturing boundaries.

Revolutionizing stethoscope design: The CORE 500™ 

One of Mike's most notable achievements at Eko is his work on the CORE 500™ Digital Stethoscope. Reflecting on this, he states, "I’m really proud of the CORE 500™ because we introduced an earpiece with speakers positioned at the listener’s ears. Essentially, we developed high-quality headphones and designed them to fit into a stethoscope package." This innovation marks a significant leap in stethoscope design, providing users with exceptional noise isolation and clear audio reproduction. 

Perfecting sound: Evolution of the CORE 500™ earpiece

The CORE 500™'s earpiece evolution is a prime example of Eko's commitment to excellence. Mike's meticulous approach ensured that from the diaphragm's sound pick-up to the ear tips' reproduction, every component was optimized. "I was responsible for the acoustics of the CORE 500™, from the pick-up at the stethoscope diaphragm to the reproduction at the ear tips. This involved the design and implementation of microphones, tuning of our signal processing to optimize the reproduced sounds, and finally the design of the earpiece to provide clear reproduction of the body sounds," he explains.

Unveiling TrueSound™: A game-changer in audio technology

Central to the CORE 500™'s success is TrueSound™ audio technology.

Mike elaborates, "TrueSound™ audio technology is the culmination of multiple design decisions and achievements. The key items are the optimized sound filtering, noise reduction (both passive and active), and in-ear speakers to reduce coloration of the audio."

Achieving TrueSound™ required a holistic design approach, integrating acoustics, electronic architecture, and mechanical design — a true testament to the team's collaborative effort.

Empowering clinicians: Eko's commitment to accessibility

Eko's technology also significantly aids clinicians with hearing loss. By amplifying the body sounds typically heard through a stethoscope, Eko ensures that all clinicians, regardless of hearing ability, can perform their duties effectively. Moreover, the stethoscopes' compatibility with Bluetooth devices, such as wireless headphones and hearing aids, underscores Eko's dedication to inclusivity and accessibility.

Passion and purpose: Mike's drive at Eko

Mike's excitement about Eko's mission is palpable. "As an acoustic engineer, my challenge has always been to develop the best audio quality of every product I work on. At Eko, I know that everything I work on is helping people. I get to collaborate with teams across the company that are all passionate about what we do here, and that provides me with a real drive to achieve our goals," he shares. This sense of purpose and collaboration fuels his drive, ensuring that every product Eko develops not only meets but exceeds the expectations of the medical community.

Through Mike's story, the spirit of innovation, dedication, and teamwork at Eko shines brightly. His journey from acoustics enthusiast to a key player in medical technology highlights the profound impact that passion and expertise can have on improving lives and advancing healthcare.