SAN JOSE, Calif. – A bill proposed by a Silicon Valley lawmaker was would establish a wireless health unit within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and create a national prize for disruptive medtech innovators.
The Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act (H.R. 6626) proposed by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) calls for spending roughly $10 million a year or more on a Disruptive Technologies Prize Program administered by a group of private and public experts. It also would fund a set of small innovator challenge grants.
The bill would lay the groundwork for clarifying existing regulations on wireless health care. It calls for setting up an Office of Wireless Health at the FDA and a mobile health developer support program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The latter group would advise developers on privacy regulations via a national hotline, an educational website, and an annual report.
Under the new law, doctors would get access to a pool of $25 million in low-interest loans as well as tax incentives for buying IT systems for use in health care. In addition, the proposal would spend $10 million a year for two-year grants to train medical care providers on health care IT systems.
“Investments, development, and adoption of [medtech] technologies remain stagnant,” Rep. Honda said in a statement.
“Currently, our health care system works against small-to-large startup entrepreneurs with a multitude of barriers to entry,” said Honda who represents California’s 15th congressional district covering the San Jose area. “There is also a lack of an established marketplace for new technologies and a lack of trained workers to handle the implementation and use of these technologies--this bill begins to bridge these gaps,” he added. Related stories: Home patient monitoring slowly gets on its feet