The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new guidance  to provide a policy to help expand the availability and capability of noninvasive remote monitoring devices to facilitate patient monitoring while reducing patient and healthcare provider contact and exposure to COVID-19 during this pandemic.

According to FDA, the policy is intended to remain in effect only for the duration of the public health emergency related to COVID-19 declared by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including any renewals made by the Secretary in accordance with section 319(a)(2) of the PHS Act.

Given this public health emergency, this guidance is being implemented without prior public comment because FDA has determined that prior public participation for this guidance is not feasible or appropriate (see section 701(h)(1)(C)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and 21 CFR 10.115(g)(2)). This guidance document is being implemented immediately, but it remains subject to comment in accordance with the agency’s good guidance practices.

According to the guidance, “FDA believes the policy set forth in this guidance will help address these urgent public health concerns by helping to expand the availability and capability of remote patient monitoring devices. Modified use of these devices may increase access to important patient physiological data without the need for in-clinic visits and facilitate patient management by health care providers while reducing the need for in-office or in-hospital services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Increased utilization of non-invasive remote patient monitoring devices may ease burdens on hospitals and other healthcare facilities and reduce the risk of exposure for patients and health care providers to SARS-CoV-2.”