NHS Digital (the national custodian for health and care data in England) in May 2021, announced a new data sharing initiative called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service. The launch of the GPDPR could result in the historical medical records of up to 55 million patients in England being shared with third parties.
Although the GP data collection was set to take place as of July 1, 2021, on June 8, 2021 it was announced that the launch will be postponed to September 1, 2021.
On January 22, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) found that there is not a general presumption of confidentiality over documents containing clinical and preclinical data provided to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to support a marketing authorization application. However, the CJEU indicated that certain information may be protected if the interested party can specifically show that the disclosure will cause it harm. This is the first time the CJEU has ruled on this matter, upholding the EMA’s approach to handling access to documents requests.
The European Commission’s Medical Devices Coordination Group (MDCG) has published a much-anticipated guidance on the qualification and classification of software devices as medical devices (MDSW)1 under the new Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostic Regulations (IVDR) (the Guidance, available here). The Guidance seeks to provide clarification to medical software manufacturers with respect to (i) when software is considered a device (qualification) and (ii) what risk category the device falls into (classification).
Under the currently applicable rules, supported by guidance set out in MEDDEV 2.1/6,2 most software devices are classified as low risk. However, the new classification rules set out in the MDR, in particular Rule 11, significantly change the classification of MDSW, with many software devices to be generally considered medium- or even high-risk devices.
Here we examine which areas have been clarified by the Guidance and which topics remain open to interpretation.