Certifications for medical devices startups

Shriti Grover
February 6, 2023

Medical device companies are required to comply with various regulatory requirements depending on the type and intended use of the device and the countries in which it is sold. Non-compliance with quality standards can result in regulatory enforcement, financial penalties, damage to reputation and credibility, and even litigation. To ensure the safety and efficacy of their products, protect their reputation and financial stability, and avoid regulatory enforcement action, medical device companies must prioritize quality and comply with relevant quality standards.

Common certifications and licenses for medical devices startups

Some of the commonly required certifications for medical devices include:

ISO 13485: a quality management system standard for medical devices.

FDA 510(k) clearance or PMA approval: clearance or approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is required for most medical devices sold in the U.S.

CE Marking: a certification required for medical devices sold in the European Union (EU).

Health Canada Medical Device Licence: a certification required for medical devices sold in Canada.

In-vitro Diagnostic (IVD) products: specific certification is required for diagnostic medical devices, such as blood glucose meters.

It is important to note that these requirements can vary based on the specific device, its intended use, and the countries in which it will be sold, so it is recommended to consult with a regulatory expert or consult the relevant regulatory agency for specific requirements.

ISO 13485 compliance 

To achieve compliance with ISO 13485, you can begin by taking the following steps:

Assess your current quality management system: Evaluate your current processes, procedures, and systems to identify areas for improvement and ensure that they meet the requirements of ISO 13485.

Appoint a project leader: Designate a person who will lead the compliance effort and oversee the implementation of the new quality management system.

Create a quality manual: Develop a quality manual that outlines your company's quality management system and the policies, procedures, and processes you will implement to meet the requirements of ISO 13485.

Train employees: Train all employees on the new quality management system and the policies, procedures, and processes they will be required to follow.

Conduct internal audits: Conduct regular internal audits to monitor compliance with the quality management system and identify areas for improvement.

Seek certification: Once you have fully implemented the quality management system, seek certification from a recognized certification body.

Test Collab is a quality management system that offers complete control over your compliance related operations like collaborative internal audits, automated record-keeping, progress tracking and onboarding new project members.

It is important to work with experienced quality management professionals, regulatory experts, and certification bodies to ensure that you achieve compliance with ISO 13485 and have a solid foundation for a successful quality management system.

FDA 510(k) clearance

Getting FDA 510(k) clearance for a medical device involves the following steps:

Determine if your device requires FDA clearance: Some medical devices are exempt from the clearance process and others may be eligible for alternative pathways. It is important to understand the regulatory requirements for your device before beginning the clearance process.

Classify your device: Classify your device according to the FDA's Medical Device Classification regulations.

Prepare a pre-submission package: Prepare a pre-submission package that includes information about your device, its intended use, its design and performance, and any relevant data or studies.

Submit a 510(k) pre-market notification: Submit a 510(k) pre-market notification to the FDA that includes your pre-submission package and a fee.

Respond to FDA feedback: The FDA may request additional information or clarification regarding your device. Respond promptly to any FDA feedback to avoid delays in the clearance process.

Receive clearance: If the FDA determines that your device is substantially equivalent to a legally marketed device, you will receive a 510(k) clearance.

It is important to regularly review and update your quality management system to ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements.

CE Marking

Getting CE marking for a medical device is an important milestone in bringing your innovative product to the market. It requires a lot of planning, preparation, and hard work, but the end result of having your product recognized as safe and effective in the European Union is a truly rewarding experience. The following steps outline the process of obtaining CE marking:

Determine the applicable directives: CE marking applies to medical devices that fall under the Medical Devices Directive (MDD) or the Active Implantable Medical Devices Directive (AIMDD). Determine which directive(s) apply to your device.

Classify your device: Classify your device according to the European Union (EU) medical device classification system.

Conduct a risk assessment: Conduct a risk assessment of your device to identify potential hazards and the measures you will take to mitigate those risks.

Prepare a Technical File: Prepare a Technical File that documents the design, manufacture, and performance of your device. This file should include information such as the device's intended use, design specifications, manufacturing processes, and test results.

Appoint a notified body: Appoint a notified body to conduct a conformity assessment of your device. Notified bodies are third-party organizations that have been accredited by the European Commission to assess the conformity of medical devices.

Obtain a CE certificate: Obtain a CE certificate from your notified body after it has assessed your device and determined that it meets the requirements of the applicable directives.

Place the CE mark on your device: Once you have obtained a CE certificate, you can place the CE mark on your device and make it available for sale in the EU.

Test Collab helps you keep track of various test cases and test results which are important part of obtaining CE marking.

For a successful CE marking process, it is crucial to have the support of knowledgeable regulatory experts and quality management professionals. These experts will help ensure that your device adheres to EU regulations and standards, and that it is equipped with a robust quality management system. Furthermore, it is advisable to continuously assess and improve your system, ensuring ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements.

Getting to market faster

Early planning and a quality management system are essential for medical device companies to bring their products to market successfully. A quality management system ensures regulatory compliance, improves product quality, enhances customer satisfaction, and better manages risks. This leads to increased efficiency and streamlined processes, helping companies get their products to market faster and at a lower cost. A well-designed and properly implemented quality management system is key to ensuring the success.

We encourage you to try Test Collab to see for yourself!