Fitbit, Apple, and Samsung have reportedly joined the Fast-lane program, a brainchild of the Food and Drug Administration that allows them to get quicker approval for the health features in their devices.
The FDA announced the new program on Tuesday and has already signed up nine technology companies including Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Verily Life Sciences which is a division of Google. The new Fast-lane program will allow the companies that have joined it to avoid the lengthy application and approval process which is usually lengthy. This is because the program allows them to clear their products in advance.
It is not surprising that companies such as Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung have joined the program. These companies have been locked in a never-ending battle especially in the wearable devices market. The past few years have seen the launch of smartwatches from each firm and they are packed with fitness and healthcare features. The fact that they have signed up also means these companies plan to continue offering features that are healthcare well into the future. It also highlights the FDA’s willingness to work hand in hand with these firms in favor of the end-users.
“We need to modernize our regulatory framework so that it matches the kind of innovation we’re being asked to evaluate. These pilot participants will help the agency shape a better and more agile approach toward digital health technology that focuses on the software developer rather than an individual product,” stated FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
The move might work well in favor of Fitbit and Apple because the two because it will allow them to move past medical conditions that have slowed down their push with wearable devices. Apple, for example, has been working alongside the Stanford School of Medicine to help detect abnormal heart rhythm while Fitbit has been working on a feature for detecting sleep apnea.
The FDA has been wooing technology firms to join the program since July and things are looking up considering that 9 companies have already signed up. Samsung is the only firm outside the U.S that has joined the program but hopefully, there will be more as time goes by.