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Wade Ackerman

Through more than a decade of experience in private practice and positions within the FDA and on the Hill, Wade Ackerman has acquired unique insights into the evolving legal and regulatory landscape facing companies marketing FDA-regulated products. Mr. Ackerman advises clients on FDA regulatory matters across a range of sectors, including drugs and biologics, cosmetics, medical devices and diagnostics, and digital health products and services associated with drugs and traditional devices. He serves as one of the leaders of Covington’s multidisciplinary Digital Health Initiative, which brings together the firm’s considerable resources across the broad array of legal, regulatory, commercial, and policy issues relating to the development and marketing of digital health technologies.

On March 23, 2023, FDA released a Framework for the use of digital health technologies in drug and biological product development (the “DHT Framework”).  This DHT Framework is on the heels of a Discussion Paper the Agency released earlier this month on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in drug manufacturing to seek public input on issues of critical focus (the “AI Discussion Paper”).  While both actions are significant, the AI Discussion Paper is one of CDER’s few policy statements related to the deployment of AI around regulated activities (though the Center did establish an AI steering committee in 2020).  CDRH, on the other hand, has issued several policy documents around AI-based software potentially regulated as “software as a medical device” (SaMD), including through an April 2019 discussion paper that proposed a regulatory framework for modifications to AI-based SaMD, an AI “Action Plan” for SaMD in January 2021, and guiding principles to inform the development of Good Machine Learning Practice for AI-based medical devices in October 2021.  CDER has requested public comment on the recent DHT Discussion Paper and AI Framework by May 1 and 23, respectively.Continue Reading FDA Seeks Comments on Agency Actions to Advance Use of AI and Digital Health Technologies in Drug Development

The COVID-19 crisis is demonstrating the potential of digital health technology to manage some of our greatest public health challenges.  The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued a call to action for technology companies to help the science community answer high-priority scientific questions related to COVID-19.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recognized that technology and surveillance systems can play an integral role in supporting the public health response to outbreaks.
Continue Reading AI/IoT Update: The Potential Benefits of Digital Health Technology in Managing COVID-19

Last week, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Protecting Personal Health Data Act (S. 1842), which would provide new privacy and security rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) for technologies that collect personal health data, such as wearable fitness trackers, social-media sites focused on health data or conditions, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, among other technologies.  Specifically, the legislation would direct the HHS Secretary to issue regulations relating to the privacy and security of health-related consumer devices, services, applications, and software. These new regulations will also cover a new category of personal health data that is otherwise not protected health information under HIPAA.
Continue Reading IoT Update: Senators Introduce Legislation to Regulate Privacy and Security of Wearable Health Devices and Genetic Testing Kits