The rapid emergence and clinical translation of novel high-throughput sequencing technologies created a need to clarify the regulatory pathway for the evaluation and authorization of these unique technologies. Recently, the US FDA authorized for marketing four next generation sequencing (NGS)-based diagnostic devices which consisted of two heritable disease-specific assays, library preparation reagents and a NGS platform that are intended for human germline targeted sequencing from whole blood. These first authorizations can serve as a case study in how different types of NGS-based technology are reviewed by the FDA. In this manuscript we describe challenges associated with the evaluation of these novel technologies and provide an overview of what was reviewed. Besides making validated NGS-based devices available for in vitro diagnostic use, these first authorizations create a regulatory path for similar future instruments and assays.