HOUSTON, July 19, 2007 Patients are leaving hospitals quicker these days, continuing treatment and recovery often with the aid of medical devices at home. As a result, the government and home care industry together must work toward providing a safe environment for the use of medical devices in the home.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the University of Houston are addressing this issue at an FDA conference Home Health Care Technology: Promoting the Safe Migration of Medical Devices into the Home cosponsored by UH Sept. 17-18 at the Hilton UH Hotel and Conference Center. Anyone wishing to attend should register at http://www.uh.edu/pharmacy/hht/. The fee is $99 for the two-day event, featuring a variety of presentations, panels and breakout sessions. Continuing Education Units are expected to be offered and are currently under consideration.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medical devices are regulated by the FDAs Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). Much of the challenge lies in safely operating medical devices in the home that were initially approved for use in a clinical setting by health care professionals.
As the U.S. population ages, home health care will grow by leaps and bounds. The technology, entertainment, communication and finance sectors are combining their efforts to create products that allow elders to continue living in their homes, said Isaac D. Montoya, clinical professor in the UH College of Pharmacy and the conference moderator. Home health care and the medical devices needed to sustain it provide a welcome respite for patients and their care providers who want to benefit from safe medical treatment in a home environment. As this phenomenon continues to grow, however, the FDA, industry and home care interest groups may need to better collaborate to assure the safety of products for home use.