Pathways’ Pick of the Week: China Forms Expert Groups in AI, 3D Printing, Hearing

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In this week’s top news pick from MedTech Strategist Market Pathways: China’s regulatory agency announced the formation of three expert advisory groups focused on artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, and hearing devices.

[For a complete roundup of medtech policy happenings that should be on your radar this week and deeper analysis of the sector, check out Market Pathways.]

China’s National Medical Products Administration has been busy rolling out reams of new regulations and guidelines in recent months to shore up its device regulatory framework and to try to get ahead of key technological developments. This week, NMPA announced the formation of new expert groups to support its efforts in three areas of major medtech development: AI, additive manufacturing, and electro-acoustic devices.

The groups, which will be tasked with helping develop standards and processes in their respective areas, include a combination of government employees, clinical experts, and China industry representatives. For instance, the AI group has 51 members and 28 observers. It will be led byWu Zhaohui, artificial intelligence expert and president of Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, and, from industry, will include a representative from the Varian Medical Systems’ Beijing entity and one from Tencent Medical Health, a major develop of medical AI technology which has received support from the Chinese government. China has prioritized development of AI in healthcare and a range of other industries to support its global economic competitiveness and its aging population, as Market Pathways has previously reported.

Personalized medical devices, driven by additive manufacturing, or 3D printing technology, has been another major focus at NMPA, with a series of guidelines and regulations issued over the past year. The new group, with 44 members, will supplement those efforts. Orthopedic surgeon Liu Zhongjun, who researches 3D printing of implants at Peking University, will lead the group that also includes Liu Qing, chairman of Beijing Amet Medical Devices Co., which is developing 3D-printed vascular stents.

The third new group will be responsible for industry standards addressing hearing aids and other electro-acoustic equipment. Its 35 members will be led by Feng Haijun, from China’s Institute of Acoustics. Industry members include representatives from the Shanghai units of multinational hearing device firms Sonova and Oticon.

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