July 9, 2020

[FREE WEBINAR] How to Assess Your CER for MDR Readiness, Part 2: Clinical Data Sources, Equivalence, and Risk/Benefit Analysis

Get a copy of the slides from this webinar or click to watch the recording.

In this second part of our 2-part webinar series, Criterion Edge will continue to present strategies for assessing key components of your CER for possible misalignment with key EU MDR requirements. Presented from the perspective of seasoned regulatory writers with deep experience authoring MedDev rev. 4 and MDR-compliant CERs, this practical presentation will help you assess your document through the critical lens of a writer and identify possible gaps for mitigation before prior to submission to regulatory authorities. In this series, we will examine the Clinical Data Sources, Equivalence, and Risk/Benefit Analysis Profile sections of the CER. 

In the first webinar of this series, we discussed the State of the Art, Safety & Performance Criteria, Equivalence, and Systematic Literature Review.
Click here to get the slides and watch the recording for part 1.

Key Takeaways:
• Understand the key components of a clinical evaluation report (1-min review of last webinar, clinical evidence, SLR, risk benefit, conclusion – have you ensured that your conclusion reflects conclusions from other sections/data?) 
• Determine how to evaluate your CER for key requirements of the MDR 

Who should watch this webinar?
Those Regulatory, Quality and Clinical leaders and regulatory writers who are tasked with the development, writing, review or approval of Clinical Evaluation Reports for EU MDR submission, or anyone interested in learning more about MDR requirements for CERs.

Sign up for future webinars here.


If you enjoyed this webinar and would like a free consultation, please contact us here.

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June 5, 2020

[FREE WEBINAR] Live Q&A Follow-Up: How to Assess Your CER for MDR Readiness, Part 1

Q&A Follow Up with Laurie

Click here to watch the recording.

We had such a large turnout at our previous webinar, How to Assess Your CER for MDR Readiness, Part 1, and left with some questions unanswered. Therefore, President Laurie Mitchell held a live Q&A to respond to questions regarding CER for MDR Readiness. In this webinar, Laurie delves deeper into some of your pressing questions like:

  • Would you recommend using clinical data from systematic reviews and meta-analyses to support the safety and performance of the subject device? 
  • Do you compare warnings and precautions as part of clinical equivalence? 
  • Can you give an example of a safety/performance objective and corresponding acceptance criteria?  

Who should watch this webinar?
Those Regulatory, Quality and Clinical leaders and regulatory writers who are tasked with the development, writing, review or approval of Clinical Evaluation Reports for EU MDR submission, or anyone interested in learning more about MDR requirements for CERs.

Sign up for future webinars here.


If you enjoyed this webinar and would like a free consultation, please contact us here.

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May 1, 2020

[FREE WEBINAR] How to Assess Your CER for MDR Readiness, Part 1: State of the Art, Safety & Performance Criteria, Equivalence and Systematic Literature Review

Get a copy of the slides from this webinar or click to watch the recording.

In this first installment of a 2-part webinar series, Criterion Edge will present strategies for assessing key components of your CER (or CER template) for possible misalignment with significant and applicable MDR requirements. Presented from the perspective of seasoned regulatory writers with deep experience developing MDR compliant CER templates and recent authorship of MDR-ready CERs, this practical presentation will help you assess your document through the critical lens of a writer and identify possible gaps for mitigation before submission to regulatory authorities.

In the second part of this series, we examine the Clinical Data Sources, Equivalence, and Risk/Benefit Analysis Profile sections of the CER.
Click here to get the slides and watch the recording for part 2.

Key Takeaways:
• Identify key MDR requirements that are applicable to critical components of a CER
• Apply review strategies to help evaluate your CER for alignment with MDR requirements
• Why organization, structure and clear language really matter in your CER

Who should watch this webinar?
Those Regulatory, Quality and Clinical leaders and regulatory writers who are tasked with the development, writing, review or approval of Clinical Evaluation Reports for EU MDR submission, or anyone interested in learning more about MDR requirements for CERs.

Sign up for future webinars here.


If you enjoyed this webinar and would like a free consultation, please contact us here.

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March 10, 2020

How Can a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) Help Prevent Common Pitfalls in Meeting the Elementary Requirements of Clinical Evaluation for MEDDEV 2.7/1 revision 4 Clinical Evaluation Report (CER)?

Author: Suzanne Broussard

Checking off list on time

Performing a methodologically sound literature review in the early stages of product development, as well as in the later stages, can help reduce most of the inadequacies highlighted by the European Commission in section A6 of MEDDEV 2.7/1 revision 4.  Section A6 provides examples of studies that lack scientific validity for the demonstration of adequate clinical performance and/or safety.

Here are the seven areas highlighted in section A6 of MEDDEV 2.7/1 revision 4 that manufacturers tend to have the most problems in proving scientific validity:

  1. Lack of information on elementary aspects: This includes missing elementary requirements of the clinical evaluation such as methods, results of clinical studies, observed undesirable side effects, and details on the intend-to-treat population.
  2. Numbers too small for statistical significance: This may include publications and reports with “inconclusive preliminary data, inconclusive data from feasibility studies, anecdotal experience, hypothesis papers and unsubscribed opinions.”
  3. Improper statistical methods: The examples given are centered around 3 scenarios. 1) No corrections applied to multiple comparisons. 2) Calculations and test were used that are based on a certain type of distribution data while the distribution is not tested, not plausible, or data were not transformed.
  4. Lack of adequate controls: It is possible to cause bias or confounding in single arm-studies and in other studies that do not include appropriate controls in the following situations: results based on subjective endpoint assessments, endpoints subject to natural fluctuations, studies with subjects that are likely to take effective co-interventions, other influencing factors, or when publications indicate there may be variables and ill controlled factors.
  5. Improper collection of mortality and serious adverse events data: In situations where mortality studies and other studies that may result in serious outcomes, there must be procedures in place to “investigate serious patient outcomes, numbers of subjects lost to follow-up, reasons why subjects leave the study, and the results of sensitivity analysis should be fully disclosed in reports and publications.”
  6. Misinterpretation by the authors: Conclusions must be in line with the results section.
  7. Illegal activities: All clinical investigations must be in compliance with local regulations, as well as designed, conducted, and reported in accordance with EN ISO 14155 or a comparable standard, and the Declaration of Helsinki.

In a recent post, we talked about one of the most challenging areas of the CER: Defining Measurable Safety and Performance Endpoints

The first deficiency listed, “lack of information on elementary aspects,” can obviously be improved using a robust systematic literature review. Defining the evaluation criteria is the first step in performing a methodologically sound systematic literature review, and these sections would then fall into place. For example, one criterion would define the clinical study methods, while other criteria might include clearly defining results to be included, undesirable side effects, and the intended-to-treat population. A scientifically sound approach and well-organized data management plan can bring all the clinical data together and allow for a thorough understanding of where the device is in the process of obtaining an CE marking.

Less obvious is how a methodologically sound systematic literature review can help with some of the other CER deficiencies. Let’s look at the three points in a devices lifecycle in which clinical evaluation is undertaken: development of the medical device (section 6.2.1), initial CE-marking (section 6.2.2), and updating the clinical evaluation (section 6.2.3).

The systematic literature review can be an effective tool early in the development of the medical device for gap analysis and determining State-of-the-Art. Once all the clinical evidence is gathered it is much easier to see if the publications and report documents have conclusive preliminary data or if further clinical data is required before moving forward with CER submissions. And, closely evaluating the complied data makes it easier for manufacturers to note statistical methods in the supporting data, and the potential of bias.

Of course, not all inadequacies can be addressed with a systematic literature review, such as improper collection of mortality and serious events data that rely on a different process for review. It is always important to collaborate with your organization’s regulatory authorities or a regulatory specialist to make sure you are complying in these areas.

Following leading practices and presenting clinical data in a straight-forward manner helps manufacturers be in good position to help regulatory agencies not to have to say No to your CER submission. Lack of organization and transparency can create a cycle of generating responses to regulatory agencies and delays getting devices to market.

Systematic literature reviews can help you find gaps in information that may be needed for inclusion in the CER, as well as putting your best foot forward by strongly providing sufficient clinical evidence for the evaluation of safety and performance of the device. Regulatory agencies expect this level of compliance. We can help you meet the challenge. We are experts in this area. Check out our recent webinars to better understand the process.

Systematic Literature Review to Help Meet MDR Requirements

Systematic Literature Review to Empower Data-Driven Decision-Making


At Criterion Edge, we are experts at generating methodologically sound systematic literature reviews and state-of-the-art reports to ensure your CER is ready for review by notified bodies. And, we can help ensure the scientific validity is adequate and document the methods we use for data collection. Talk to us about running a systematic literature review for you. 

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October 1, 2019

What role does the CER play in getting a Medical Device Approved for Marketing in the EU?

Author: Suzanne Broussard

Clinical evaluation is an integral part of technical documentation mandated for regulatory compliance of medical devices sold in the European Union (EU); therefore, having a well-designed and clearly written clinical evaluation report (CER) is paramount for manufacturers of both existing and new medical devices. 

This is especially true with the passing of Medical Device Regulation 2017/745 (MDR). The MDR directive places stricter regulations on medical device safety and performance 

Not only are new devices seeking regulatory compliance impacted, devices on the market prior to the initiation of the MDR directive are also affected as every device must be re-submitted for CE marking before the end of the May 2020 transition period. This effect will require manufacturers to update the CER for each device to current MDR standards in order to be in regulatory compliance. 

A survey of medical device manufacturers revealed that 78% of respondents do not sufficiently understand MDR, while 58% do not have a strategy in place to correct gaps in their clinical data or a process for collecting the data needed (KPMG & RAPS). 

With so little time left to meet the MDR May 2020 transition deadline*, consider hiring a professional to help your organization prepare the CER document.  

Why is the CER Important for Marketing in the European Union? 

The CER documents a device’s entire clinical evaluation process and is required to achieve regulatory compliance for marketing in the EU. Essentially, the CER outlines the assessment and the clinical data that determine if evidence sufficiently verifies the clinical safety and performance of the medical device. Furthermore, the CER is considered a living document and must be updated on an ongoing basis throughout the devices’ life cycle.  

Key Updates in MDR as Outlined in MEDDEV 2.7/1 Revision 4 

Device Equivalence and Risk/Benefit Profile 

The MEDDEV guidance document 2.7/1 revision 4 outlines the stricter regulatory requirements placed on medical device manufacturers. Several key differences exist between the previous EU Medical Device Directives (MDD) and MDR, including the data requirements to determine device equivalency and clarification on the risk/benefit profile.  

For a detailed gap analysis of the differences in the requirements for device equivalency and risk/benefit profiles between the previous and the current standards see our white paper Gap Analysis Report: MEDDEV 2.7/1 Guidance and Risk/Benefit Profile 

State of the Art is a Central Theme in the Clinical Evaluation  

Establishing and describing the state of the art for each medical device is central to the clinical evaluation because it establishes a reference standard that is used to determine if the device’s safety and performance are compatible with current treatment options. This information is used throughout the clinical evaluation process and is documented in the CER.  

Criterion Edge’s Founder and President Laurie Mitchell outlines steps for developing state of the art to comply with MEDDEV 2.7/1 revision 4 in the white paper “State of the Art: Best Practices and Literature Review Using DistillerSR.”  

Experience Writing CER Documents Matters 

Manufacturers have a lot at stake. Having experienced CER writers that can integrate the complex regulatory requirements with the device’s specific characteristics and can present the information with clarity can save both headaches and money. Pulling together the CER document requires a thorough understanding of the regulations’ meaning and, as importantly, the ability to apply the MDR regulations to each device’s specific situation.  

The role of the clinical evaluator is so pivotal that expected qualifications for the clinical evaluation authors and evaluators are outlined in the MEDDEV 2.7/1 rev 4 guidance document right along with the stricter standards for device equivalency, risk/benefit justification, and scientific validity of data.  

“The clinical evaluation should be conducted by a suitably qualified individual or a team.” 

The list of qualifications to consider when choosing a clinical evaluator to author the CER is clearly stated in section 6.4 of the MEDDEV 2.7/1 rev 4. Foremost on this list are the author’s and evaluator’s qualifications and experience, including an advanced degree, documentation experience, and knowledge of the device being evaluated, research methodology, information management, regulatory requirements, and medical writing.  

All of these requirements can be difficult to find in-house. Poorly organized or incorrect CER documents can hold up the compliance process delaying obtaining a CE mark or result in removal from the market during subsequent inspections.  

Professional CER writers at contract regulatory agencies such as Criterion Edge can help manufacturers on multiple levels: 

  • Provide a gap analysis  
  • Provide a thorough knowledge of the current regulations 
  • Author a complete QC’ed CER document 
  • Review existing submission documents 
  • And so much more…

* MDR deadline has been extended one year to May 26th, 2021

At Criterion Edge, our clients enjoy our transparency in the services we provide as our candid scoping includes a time frame for delivering the CER and detailed information on gaps in compliance. All of our writers have experience writing CERs and are up to date on current regulations. Providing a comprehensive analysis and subsequent solutions sets us apart from other vendors. Contact us if you would like to have a conversation about what we can do to help with your writing and regulatory needs. 

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