Testing The Limits: Software De Novo, 510(k) Volunteers Wanted By US FDA
As the US Food and Drug Administration is developing a new pathway for certain medical software called the precertification program, the agency is asking de novo and 510(k) sponsors to volunteer for a test plan to help the agency in its efforts. At least one expert on the subject is skeptical and says the plan adds burdens without real benefits for sponsors.
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With a regulatory framework and test plan in place, US FDA says it will use the rest of the year to run experiments in its pre-cert pilot program to figure out what metrics it needs to gather and processes it needs to develop to make the new paradigm for digital health products a reality. The agency says it plans to update stakeholders as needed on its progress.
In 2019, FDA will be taking steps to perform real-world testing of the effectiveness of its pre-cert program for health software and whether the program can be carried out within the agency's current regulatory authorities. The efforts come after more than a year of development and some pushback about statutory overreach and patient safety.
The agency is building its pre-certification program as a novel paradigm for health software products to reach the market with less scrutiny when companies successfully undergo "excellence" appraisals. It has attracted the interest and support of many stakeholders, but at least one medtech group argues the agency should have to get congressional approval to launch the program.