Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) Resources

What is an IDE?

An investigational device exemption (IDE) is an approval that allows a medical device to be used in a clinical research study that involves human subjects or human specimens. The term “exemption” as it pertains to IDEs, means that the device is exempt from the laws that prohibit unapproved products to move in interstate commerce.

An approved IDE means that the IRB (and FDA for SR devices) has approved the sponsor’s study application and all regulatory requirements are met.

IDEs cover studies that:

What is a non-significant risk (NSR) device?

Non-significant risk (NSR) devices are devices that do not pose a significant risk to the human subjects. Examples include most daily-wear contact lenses and lens solutions, ultrasonic dental scalers, and Foley catheters. An NSR device study requires only IRB approval prior to initiation of a clinical study.

The IRB is tasked with granting NSR determinations, when appropriate.

What is a significant risk (SR) device?

A significant risk (SR) device presents a potential for serious risk to the health, safety, or welfare of a subject. Significant risk devices may include implants, devices that support or sustain human life, and devices that are substantially important in diagnosing, curing, mitigating or treating disease or in preventing impairment to human health. Examples include sutures, cardiac pacemakers, hydrocephalus shunts, and orthopedic implants.

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