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Philips Expert Urges Device Makers: Update Quality Systems To Conform To Revised Risk Standard ISO 14971

Executive Summary

It’s time for manufacturers to begin adopting the new 2019 version of ISO 14971, the international standard for risk management widely used by industry. But firms need to do more work than just changing the date on risk-related procedures and documents to “2019,” says Jos Van Vroonhoven, a senior manager at Philips Healthcare who was intimately involved with the standard’s redo. From conducting gap assessments to creating cross-functional teams, both Van Vroonhoven and longtime industry expert Don Powers tell Medtech Insight how firms can keep their quality systems up-to-date to conform to ISO 14971:2019.

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Benefit-Risk Is Front-And-Center In Latest Revision Of International Risk Management Standard ISO 14971

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has strengthened benefit-risk language in the latest redo of ISO 14971, the voluntary standard that instructs device-makers on how to best put together a risk management program. Regulators – including US FDA – are increasingly considering benefit-risk when weighing product availability and regulatory compliance issues. And Jos Van Vroonhoven, convener of a joint working group that revised the standard, says a more global regulatory emphasis on risk management and a desire to clarify the document in general led ISO to revise the standard. Also: Van Vroonhoven identifies four updated clauses in the revamped standard that firms should keep a sharp eye on.

The Path Forward: Retooled Technical Doc TR 24971 Guides Device Firms On Risk Management Standard ISO 14971

When ISO TR 24971 – a Technical Report that offers device-makers guidance on international risk management standard ISO 14971 – was first published in 2013, not many people knew it existed. But now that the TR is being updated in tandem with ISO 14971, it's a must-have document that includes valuable instruction related to a host of risk-related issues. In particular, TR 24971:20XX includes informative new annexes that tackle device cybersecurity and how firms should handle risk management for products designed before ISO 14971 existed.

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