FDA, VHA announce collaboration to accelerate medical device innovation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have announced a collaboration intended to help accelerate American medical device innovation to further improve and benefit public health.

According to the announcement, Veteran Affairs’ VA Ventures Innovation Institute, located in Seattle, will host up to 12 FDA staff to foster robust collaborations between the two agencies. The FDA staff will focus on the regulatory science — the science for evaluating the benefits and risks of new products — while VA staff will provide clinical context for test development and provide hands-on training and other immersive experiences for innovators wishing to utilize the tools.

Together, the organizations will work toward developing and disseminating new tools designed to test the safety and effectiveness of medical devices and emerging technologies. These “off-the-shelf” testing tools will provide innovators with straightforward, reproducible and cost-effective testing methods throughout the product development cycle. Providing standardized tests can help streamline the regulatory evaluation process, accelerating the time it takes for products to reach patients by increasing predictability in the product development process. This effort may also reduce risks for early innovators that might not have access to more elaborate testing systems.

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