EC approval for Siemens Healthineers/Varian merger
The European Commission (EC) has concluded its review of the planned merger between Siemens Healthineers AG and Varian Medical Systems, Inc. and approved the transaction subject to certain conditions. In accordance with its commitments, the company will continue to keep its imaging and oncology software solutions interoperable with third-party offerings in the future. This concerns the connection of imaging solutions for radiation therapy with third-party oncology software solutions (and vice versa) as well as respiratory motion devices. Detailed information and company statements on the merger can be found on the Siemens Healthineers website.
FDA releases AI/Machine Learning Action Plan
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the agency’s first Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)-Based Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) Action Plan. This action plan describes a multi-pronged approach to advance the Agency’s oversight of AI/ML-based medical software. “The plan outlines a holistic approach based on total product lifecycle oversight to further the enormous potential that these technologies have to improve patient care while delivering safe and effective software functionality that improves the quality of care that patients receive. To stay current and address patient safety and improve access to these promising technologies, we anticipate that this action plan will continue to evolve over time,” said Bakul Patel, director of the Digital Health Center of Excellence in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). The Action Plan can be accessed and downloaded from the FDA website.
Covid-19 diagnostic: An antigen test as over-the-counter fully at-home test
The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first over-the-counter (OTC) fully at-home diagnostic test for Covid-19. The Ellume Covid-19 Home Test is a rapid, lateral flow antigen test, a type of test that runs a liquid sample along a surface with reactive molecules. The test detects fragments of proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a nasal swab sample from any individual 2 years of age or older. More information can be found on the FDA website.