Gottlieb talks tech

  • by: Peter Pitts |
  • 06/16/2017
In a blog post Thursday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb outlined regulatory steps designed to promote development of digital health technologies. The agency intends to issue new guidance that would clarify FDA's regulatory scope in the sector; explore a third-party certification program for developers that could exempt some products from premarket review; and gather real-world evidence about the use of digital health technologies. The policies fall under the agency's new Digital Health Innovation Plan, intended to promote innovation among health apps, devices such as fitness trackers, and tools such as medical records software.

Over the coming months, FDA plans to publish new guidance clarifying which health products fall in and out of the agency’s regulatory scope, including guidelines on low-risk products that would be exempt from certain premarket regulatory requirements.
The agency is also considering a pilot program under which it may certify developers based on their reliability, which could allow them to bring lower risk products to market without premarket review, while streamlining premarket review of higher risk products.

Unlike FDA’s product-based approach for drugs and therapeutics, the program would grant certification at the company level based on factors such as the consistent quality or maintenance of a developer's software, Gottlieb wrote.
Finally, FDA intends to use the National Evaluation System for health Technology (NEST) as a resource for companies to collect real-world data on their products in both pre- and postmarket settings. The federated system will pool data from various sources, including registries, electronic health records and payer claims. The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), a 501(c)(3) public/private partnership, will coordinate its operations.

FDA said MDIC will establish a NEST governing committee in the coming weeks, and plans to launch a first version of the system by YE19.
The plan is part of a broader push by FDA to spur innovation through reforms across its medical product centers. More details are due soon.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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