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Regulating Medical Devices Shapes Industry for the Better

Regulating Medical Devices Shapes Industry for the Better

This article originally appeared in Business Worldwide magazine. It’s fashionable to be anti-regulation in business today. But sometimes regulation is central to how a sector operates. We talk to Rita King, CEO of MethodSense and Russ King, President of MethodSense about why regulating medical devices and biotech/pharma companies is so critical. Most devices and innovations need to go through a complex system of regulatory approval. In order to obtain market entry, some argue that regulatory agencies like the US-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are too zealous, preventing or delaying life-saving innovations from entering the market. Richard Williams, an affiliated scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, cites an example where three medical devices submitted for approval took nine years to process. He argues that it costs on average $24 million to manage FDA requirements. “A mid-1970s law,” he argues, “requires virtually every medical device—and improvements to existing devices—to endure a slow, expensive, uncertain approval process, ill-suited to 21st-century technology. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which grants such approval, has an ageing structure and culture that adds extra layers of discouragement to would-be innovators.” But what are the benefits of regulation, and how can pharma and tech companies manage the process of compliance more smoothly? MethodSense is a company that exists to assist companies with FDA and other regulatory agencies to obtain market entry for their medical device products. We talked to Rita King, CEO of MethodSense, and Russ King, President of MethodSense, about what they do and why regulation matters. What kinds of services do you provide as a company? “MethodSense’s consulting service approach is a little...
FDA Announces New Policy for Accepting Consensus Standards for Medical Devices

FDA Announces New Policy for Accepting Consensus Standards for Medical Devices

FDA Streamlines Process for Accepting Consensus Standards We are seeing the impact of the 21st Century Cures Act yet again with FDA’s clarification on how they will process requests for recognition of consensus standards. With this new policy, FDA has streamlined the process that allows medical device manufacturers to submit a request to the FDA for recognition of a standard that has been established by a nationally or internationally recognized standard organization. What Are Recognized Consensus Standards A recognized consensus standard is a national or international standard that FDA has evaluated and recognized for use in satisfying a regulatory requirement and for which FDA has published a notice in the Federal Register. Many consensus standards address aspects of safety and effectiveness that are relevant to medical devices. When a medical device manufacturer is submitting a premarket application, such as a 510(k), Investigation Device Exemptions application (IDE) or a Premarket Approval application (PMA), it must demonstrate to CDRH (Center for Devices and Radiological Health) that their device is safe and effective. Applicants may be able to demonstrate safety and effectiveness by conformance to FDA-recognized consensus standards. When planning performance and safety testing, manufacturers should review the list of FDA-recognized standards to determine if the standard they are considering is listed. FDA recommends that plans to conform to particular standards be discussed during pre-submission meetings. If testing has already been conducted to a standard not recognized by the FDA but acceptable in another market, a request for recognition will need to be submitted to FDA. If testing has already been conducted to a past version of a standard that the FDA...
CV Magazine Names Regulatory Strategist Female CEO of the Year

CV Magazine Names Regulatory Strategist Female CEO of the Year

  Our CEO and Regulatory Strategist, Rita King, was recognized as Female CEO of the Year 2016 by CV Magazine. In addition to the award, CV Magazine conducted an in-depth interview with Rita to find out more about her success leading up to and in her current role at MethodSense. CV Magazine: Tell me about your business and your ongoing strategy? Rita King: MethodSense is both a consulting and product development firm. I initially created the company to help large life science companies manage critical information subject to regulatory oversight. We evolved further with the development of InfoStrength, a regulatory compliant information management software we designed, after extensive market research, expressly for life science companies. In order to facilitate the quality and regulatory requirements of our clients, my team created this software solution specifically geared toward maintaining compliance throughout the lifecycle of a business, from product design and development through commercialization. Most software in the industry was not intuitive and was cumbersome to use. My goal was to develop a product that would require little to no training for the users, yet still meet life science company requirements. As the software gained traction, client demand for hands on quality and regulatory support, in addition to the software, grew. MethodSense’s consultants use their critical thinking skills and industry experience to guide medical device manufacturers through worldwide commercialization. Since 2012, the consulting aspect of the business has grown considerably. This growth has enabled us to expand our services with expertise in quality compliance, regulatory strategies, software validation, human factors and usability engineering, risk management and other services for US and global...
10 Things You need to know about Human Factors Validation

10 Things You need to know about Human Factors Validation

As medical devices become more complex, the FDA will continue to place greater emphasis on ways to improve safety and effectiveness before products are commercialized. One relatively recent method is Human Factors Engineering, also known as Usability Engineering, which is used to identify and mitigate use errors. Of course, this can place additional burdens on manufacturers to justify that their device has accounted for as many of these potential risks as possible. The list below, which is by no means exhaustive, is intended to point you in the right direction as you prepare for meeting FDA requirements for Human Factors Validation Testing. Human Factors should be considered throughout the design and development process, not just when you’re ready to go to market. Formative evaluations, such as focus groups and expert interviews, can and should be conducted throughout the design and development process. These studies usually consist of 5-8 people and can be conducted somewhat informally. Valuable information can be gleaned from formative evaluations, such as design improvements and identification of potential use errors that could be mitigated by making adjustments to the device interface. Additionally, the FDA and other notified bodies often want to see how your design has been influenced based on the results of these studies. Summative evaluations are the formal validation studies conducted for the final version of the device. These studies are your Human Factors Validation Testing that must follow the requirements of the FDA guidance, Applying Human Factors and Usability Engineering to Medical Devices, and the EU standard, IEC 62366-1: Medical devices – Part 1: Application of usability engineering to medical devices. These studies...

How the 21st Century Cures Act Impacts Medical Device Software

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding medical device software and how it should be regulated. Concern about software of this nature will continue to rise to the forefront of conversations because there will be an increasing number of these products in the marketplace. The 21st Century Cures Act specifically addresses which types of medical device software will be exempt from regulation. Section 3060, Clarifying Medical Software Regulation, identifies five categories of medical software that will not be regulated as medical devices by the FDA due to their potential low level of risk to patients. The software categories that may be excluded from device regulation include: Administrative & Operational Software: that provides administrative support of a healthcare facility, such as that for appointment scheduling, health benefit eligibility and processing financial records. While this software is included in the provision, it was not considered a medical device to begin with. Wellness Apps: for maintaining or encouraging a healthy lifestyle that is unrelated to the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of a disease or condition. This is consistent with FDA’s General Wellness and Mobile Medical Applications guidance documents. Electronic Patient Record Software: provided that it is only intended to transfer, store, convert formats or display the equivalent of a medical chart. There are some caveats to this exception, however: Records must be created, stored, transferred or reviewed by healthcare professionals; Records must be part of health information technology certified under section 3001(c)(5) of the Public Health Service Act; and The software must not be intended to interpret or analyze patient data or images for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or...