The EU medical device regulation: Implications for artificial intelligence-based medical device software in medical physics

Phys Med. 2021 Feb 28;83:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2021.02.011. Online ahead of print.


Medical device manufacturers are increasingly applying artificial intelligence (AI) to innovate their products and to improve patient outcomes. Health institutions are also developing their own algorithms, to address specific needs for which no commercial product exists. Although AI-based algorithms offer good prospects for improving patient outcomes, their wide adoption in clinical practice is still limited. The most significant barriers to the trust required for wider implementation are safety and clinical performance assurance . Qualified medical physicist experts (MPEs) play a key role in safety and performance assessment of such tools, before and during integration in clinical practice. As AI methods drive clinical decision-making, their quality should be assured and tested. Occasionally, an MPE may be also involved in the in-house development of such an AI algorithm. It is therefore important for MPEs to be well informed about the current regulatory framework for Medical Devices. The new European Medical Device Regulation (EU MDR), with date of application set for 26 of May 2021, imposes stringent requirements that need to be met before such tools can be applied in clinical practice. The objective of this paper is to give MPEs perspective on how the EU MDR affects the development of AI-based medical device software. We present our perspective regarding how to implement a regulatory roadmap, from early-stage consideration through design and development, regulatory submission, and post-market surveillance. We have further included an explanation of how to set up a compliant quality management system to ensure reliable and consistent product quality, safety, and performance .

PMID:33657513 | DOI:10.1016/j.ejmp.2021.02.011