On Monday, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that aims to advance innovation in mobile health and other health care technologies, Modern Healthcare reports.
The legislation -- called the Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act -- would require FDA to establish a new office of wireless health technology (Lee, Modern Healthcare, 12/4).
The new office would work with other government agencies and private businesses to help the FDA commissioner develop a "consistent, reasonable, and predictable regulatory framework" for wireless and digital health tools (Dolan, MobiHealthNews, 12/4).
Honda said the office would bring new expertise to FDA, as well as help mobile health technologies get to market faster (Kim, KQED, 12/4).
The bill also would:
- Establish an HHS program to support mobile health developers and help them ensure that their technologies align with current privacy regulations (Office of Rep. Honda release, 12/3);
- Create a low-interest, small business loan program to encourage clinics and physician practices to purchase health IT tools (KQED, 12/4);
- Establish a tax incentive program to help health care providers deduct the cost of certain health IT systems, excluding electronic health record systems (Office of Rep. Honda release, 12/3);
- Set up a grant program to provide support to health care providers who retrain employees for new health IT-related positions; and
- Launch new prize and grant programs to spur the development of new health IT tools (Modern Healthcare, 12/4).
Honda in a statement said, "Why have the principles of Silicon Valley, which I represent -- competition, innovation and entrepreneurship -- not fully manifested themselves in the health care information technology space? This bill gets us closer to that space" (MobiHealthNews, 12/4).