PERTH, Australia – Following consultation with medical device stakeholders in 2019 and 2020, the Therapeutic Goods (Medical Devices) Regulations 2002 were amended to clarify some existing requirements and to introduce new requirements for software-based medical devices. The new rules that go into effect on Feb. 25, 2021, clarify the boundary of regulated software products, introduce new classification rules, and provide updates to the essential principles for software-based medical devices.
The U.S. FDA has issued an action plan for regulation of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI, ML), which includes issuance of a draft guidance for change control for adaptive algorithms. There is no guarantee a final guidance will emerge before 2022, however, leaving developers with another year – perhaps longer – of uncertainty as to how to handle change control for their algorithms.
The U.S. FDA has exercised a considerable degree of enforcement discretion during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when it comes to digital health. However, Christine Bump, principal at Penn Avenue Law & Policy, said that this very discretion has an uncertain shelf life and advised industry to remain compliant with the regulations as much as possible to avoid unnecessary enforcement actions by federal agencies.