Globally, the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) raises fundamental questions about how the technology can be used. Drug approval authorities are now also taking part in this discussion, resulting in emerging and evolving guidelines and principles for drug companies.
On April 27, 2023, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed into law the state’s My Health My Data Act (the Act), which will become effective on March 31, 2024 (June 30, 2024, for small businesses). Despite its name, this is a comprehensive privacy bill that will affect many entities, including those outside of the traditional “health” context. The rights and obligations may apply to individuals other than Washington residents, as the law defines consumers as including persons whose data is merely collected or otherwise processed in the state.
On 4 April 2023, John Edwards, the UK’s Information Commissioner, stated that the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) would be “going after providers of women’s health apps and auditing them, and getting them to change any practices that are non-compliant.” Speaking at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington DC, the Information Commissioner indicated that this proposed strategy forms part of the ICO’s new “agile” initiative, which will focus on “areas of vulnerability, targeting…intervention [where] that has the greatest impact”.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has issued new draft guidance on “Marketing Submission Recommendations for a Predetermined Change Control Plan for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)-Enabled Device Software Functions”1 that discusses a “science-based approach to ensuring that AI/ML-enabled devices can be safely, effectively, and rapidly modified, updated, and improved in response to new data.”2 This approach should offer more certainty to industry as FDA’s stated goal is to allow AI/ML-enabled devices to be modified faster in accordance with FDA requirements while being “built to adapt to the data and needs of individual health care facilities” and “adapt to deliver treatments according to individual users’ particular characteristics and needs.”3 Those wishing to comment on the draft guidance should note that the comment period closes on July 3, 2023.
Healthcare providers, health plans, and technology companies that use mobile health apps to access, collect, share, use, or maintain information related to an individual’s health should take note of the recently issued Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Mobile Health App Interactive Tool. The purpose of the tool is to help mobile health developers determine the federal regulatory, privacy, and security laws and regulations that may apply to the use of a consumer’s health information, such as information related to diagnosis, treatment, fitness, wellness, or addiction. While the tool should not be considered legal advice and cannot guarantee compliance with legal requirements, it can help healthcare providers, health plans, and technology companies issue-spot to manage risk in this heavily regulated space.
New measures for the security assessment of data transfers from China to other countries could make it harder for international pharma companies with China operations to transfer health data out of the country. Lianying Wang explains.
Pursuant to legislation passed in 2021, covered entities and business associates subject to HIPAA and facing potential regulatory enforcement may receive some credit lessening to reduce enforcement penalties if they had implemented Recognized Security Practices (RSPs) within the prior 12 months. However, what may constitute RSPs and how a covered entity or business associate can demonstrate implementation of RSPs to receive such credit had not been clear. Now, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to provide clarity. (more…)
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a suite of guidance documents relating to software, automation, and artificial intelligence. One guidance document in particular, addressing clinical decision support (CDS) software, may signal a tightening in FDA’s oversight on software tools with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) that could introduce confusion and frustrate innovation in this important, fast-developing area. On October 18, 2022, FDA held a webinar to provide additional clarifications on this final guidance.
Digital health companies should take note of new data privacy and security developments under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that can affect product planning and customer negotiations.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a request for information (RFI) seeking input on (1) how covered entities implement recognized security practices, which OCR considers in enforcement matters and (2) the different types of harm that individuals experience from HIPAA violations in order to consider how OCR may share enforcement recoveries with individuals harmed. Digital health companies subject to HIPAA should consider submitting comments by the June deadline to ensure that the evolving digital health industry has a voice in establishing industry best practices and advocating for continued flexibility in the implementation of security standards that suit their unique business needs distinct from traditional covered entities and business associates. (more…)
On 6 April 2022, the European Parliament formally approved the Data Governance Act (“DGA”), which establishes a legal framework to promote the availability of data and increase trust in data sharing across sectors in the EU. Some of the key objectives of the new legislation include enabling the re-use of certain categories of protected public sector data and making it easier and safer for citizens and businesses to share their data with relevant stakeholders. (more…)