Developing a Digital Solution for Remote Assessment in Multiple Sclerosis: From Concept to Software as a Medical Device
There is increasing interest in the development and deployment of digital solutions to improve patient care and facilitate monitoring in medical practice, e.g., by remote observation of disease symptoms in the patients’ home environment. Digital health solutions today range from non-regulated wellness applications and research-grade exploratory instruments to regulated software as a medical device (SaMD). This paper discusses the considerations and complexities in developing innovative, effective, and validated SaMD for multiple sclerosis (MS). The development of SaMD requires a formalised approach (design control), inclusive of technical verification and analytical validation to ensure reliability. SaMD must be clinically evaluated, characterised for benefit and risk, and must conform to regulatory requirements associated with device classification. Cybersecurity and data privacy are also critical. Careful consideration of patient and provider needs throughout the design and testing process help developers overcome challenges of adoption in medical practice. Here, we explore the development pathway for SaMD in MS, leveraging experiences from the development of Floodlight™ MS, a continually evolving bundled solution of SaMD for remote functional assessment of MS. The development process will be charted while reflecting on common challenges in the digital space, with a view to providing insights for future developers.
Clinical validation; Digital health; Participatory health
van der Walt A, Butzkueven H, Shin RK, Midaglia L, Capezzuto L, Lindemann M, et al. Developing a Digital Solution for Remote Assessment in Multiple Sclerosis: From Concept to Software as a Medical Device. Brain Sci. 2021 Sep;11(9):1247.
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