The FDA is taking a page from Silicon Valley and looking for its first 'entrepreneur in residence'

Key Points
  • FDA is taking a page from Silicon Valley's venture firms by hiring an entrepreneur-in-residence.
  • These fellows will help the engage figure out how it will regulate digital health in the future.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA
Cameron Costa | CNBC

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is so hip these days that it's looking for its first entrepreneur-in-residence for digital health.

The agency today announced that its digital health unit is recruiting fellows to help it with tasks like assessing product quality and developing new ways to collect data.

Candidates are expected to spend at least three days a week on-site, according to a post on the FDA website.

The program is part of a larger focus for the agency on digital health, an emerging category that has attracted more than $10 billion in financing in the past few years. The FDA recently announced a pilot program to develop a "pre-certification" for digital health start-ups, which aims to fast-track the approval process for less risky software products.

The entrepreneur-in-residence would also assist with that initiative, which involves building close ties with the technology industry.

The FDA's associate center director for digital health Bakul Patel told CNBC that he's on "cloud nine" with how quickly this particular program is evolving. Patel says he's been thinking about this idea for a fast-track for a while, but new commissioner Scott Gottlieb made it a priority.

Patel said his team is also looking to hire 13 people in the coming months.

"I'm trying to recruit people who are tech-savvy and also business-savvy," he said. "They need to understand what it takes to bring products to market and understand where the industry is headed."

This story has been updated to clarify that the entrepreneur-in-residence is its first for digital health.