Background: Medical device regulations which aim to ensure safety standards do not only apply to hardware devices but also to standalone medical software, e.g. mobile apps.
Objectives: To explore the effects of these regulations on the development and distribution of medical standalone software.
Methods: We invited a convenience sample of 130 domain experts to participate in an online survey about the impact of current regulations on the development and distribution of medical standalone software.
Results: 21 respondents completed the questionnaire. Participants reported slight positive effects on usability, reliability, and data security of their products, whereas the ability to modify already deployed software and customization by end users were negatively impacted. The additional time and costs needed to go through the regulatory process were perceived as the greatest obstacles in developing and distributing medical software.
Conclusion: Further research is needed to compare positive effects on software quality with negative impacts on market access and innovation. Strategies for avoiding over-regulation while still ensuring safety standards need to be devised.
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