The U.S. FDA raised some hackles with its final guidance for clinical decision support (CDS) software, thanks to provisions that some stakeholders argued flew against congressional intent regarding the regulatory status of some device functions. That final guidance is now the target of a petition by the CDS Coalition to withdraw and rewrite the final guidance, arguing that the agency is “doing an end run” around the limitations established by Congress regarding the FDA’s oversight of software as a medical device (SaMD).
The U.S. FDA and makers of medical devices have several collaborative programs, but the two sides have joined forces yet again in a new collaboration, this time to address both product quality issues and supply chain resiliency.
The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) has played a key role in fostering a stronger industrial appreciation for the need for robust cybersecurity, but a recent MDIC report noted that many device makers are deficient in pushing cybersecurity considerations into the domain of design controls. However, the most critical element in cybersecurity may be whether a company has a chief product security officer (CPSO), the presence of absence of which seems to correlate strongly and uniformly with all aspects of cybersecurity in a manufacturer’s products.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has sounded off again about the ability of other federal government agencies to respond to future crises and pandemics, arguing that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not forged a comprehensive assessment mechanism to account for the associated medical countermeasure production needs. However, GAO also remarked that HHS does not have a dedicated funding mechanism to finance these activities, a resource that might not become available until after HHS officials draft a budget for the activities associated with such efforts for congressional review.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported the withdrawal of three legacy enforcement policies related to health care, including a 1996 policy that allowed hospitals to share the cost of capital equipment such as MRI systems. The announcement would seem to jeopardize the ability of smaller hospitals and other health care clinical sites to share the cost of these and other examples of costly, high-end equipment, but the damage may not stop there, thanks to the elimination of policies regarding medical information sharing that could impede medical research.
The Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) has led the policy charge for smaller medical device manufacturers for decades, but each year brings its own unique set of hazards and opportunities. In an interview with BioWorld, MDMA President and CEO Mark Leahey said that while the Medicare policy for coverage of breakthrough devices has gone through some unanticipated twists and turns, that policy is not yet fixed and thus there is still some prospect that such a policy will not devolve into a stew of leftovers drawn from existing coverage mechanisms.
The U.S. FDA recently posted the regulation for software used to derive vital signs from optical camera images thanks to a successful de novo petition by Oxford, U.K.-based Oxehealth Ltd., a regulation that carries the usual requirements for software verification and validation. However, the regulation also requires some human factors engineering (HFE) studies of the software interface, a requirement that may become more demanding to fulfill per a recent draft guidance on the subject.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has once again waded into the question of whether medical devices should be included in the agency’s right-to-repair discussion, most recently in an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking ostensibly titled for energy labeling. The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) pushed back on the proposal by pointing to the draft’s required disclosure of proprietary information about a medical device system, a provision MITA said might detract from patient safety.
New York-based Paige.AI Inc., was successful in its de novo application to the U.S. FDA for the company’s digital pathology software for identification of cancerous prostate tissue, but the agency needed nearly a year and a half after the September 2021 grant of de novo petition to post the regulation for this novel algorithm.
The U.S. FDA inked a Dec. 20, 2022, warning letter to Righteye LLC that handed the company a list of quality system issues in dire need of redress, but the agency was more concerned about off-label promotion of the Righteye vision system as a method for evaluating the patient’s ocular tremors as a sign of Parkinson’s disease.