Radiological Medical Device Innovation: Approvals via the Premarket Approval Pathway From 2000 to 2015

Comeron W. Ghobadi*, Emily L. Hayman, Joshua H. Finkle, Jessica R. Walter, Shuai Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose The aim of this study was to critically assess the clinical evidence leading to radiologic medical device approvals via the premarket approval pathway from 2000 to 2015. Methods This study used the publically available FDA premarket database for radiologic device approvals over the past 15 years (September 1, 2000, to August 31, 2015). Approval characteristics were collected for each device, and statistical analysis was performed on the data for each pivotal trial. Additionally, methodological quality of the pivotal trial was determined using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool. Results Twenty-three class III radiologic device approvals were identified, with breast imaging accounting for 16 (70%) and computer-aided detection software accounting for 9 (39%) approvals. The median premarket approval time was 475 days (range, 180-1,116). Twenty-one devices were approved on the basis of multireader, multicenter studies, one on the basis of a randomized controlled trial, and one on the basis of a preclinical technical equivalence trial. The median number of patients per pivotal trial was 201 (range, 25-3,946). Twenty-six of the 34 pivotal trials (76%) had at least one methodologic bias. Breast imaging devices had a greater number of patients per pivotal trial (P =.009) and more prospective studies. With regard to all modalities, increased time to device approval correlated with weaker trial quality (r = 0.600, P <.001). Conclusions Radiologic devices are largely approved by multireader, multicenter studies, the recommended standard for assessing diagnostic technologies. Given that radiologic devices play a key role in modern medicine, further efforts should be made to increase transparency of clinical data leading to approval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • 21st Century Cures Act
  • FDA
  • Medical device innovation
  • National Evaluation System for Health Technology
  • health policy
  • innovation
  • medical device regulation
  • patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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