New global information platform on medical devices

New global information platform on medical devices
New global information platform on medical devices

The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a significant step towards improving access to and use of medical devices with the launch of MeDevIS (Medical Device Information System). This innovative, open-access global platform is designed to facilitate informed decision-making by governments, regulators and users in the selection, acquisition and use of medical devices.

MeDevIS is the first global, open-access platform that centralizes information on 2,301 types of medical devices used for a variety of health problems. From reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health, to non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and infectious diseases such as COVID-19, MeDevIS covers a broad spectrum of medical technologies.

Vital resource for health care

Dr Yukiko Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, highlighted the increasing complexity and number of medical technologies in health care. “Our aim is to provide a one-stop shop for international information that is extremely useful for those who must make decisions about essential medical technologies, especially in resource-limited settings, and to improve access.”said Dr. Nakatani.

The world is home to over 10,000 different medical devices, ranging from pulse oximeters, digital thermometers and medical masks, to more complex equipment such as electrocardiograms, endoscopes, diagnostic radiology technologies and treatment equipment such as hemodialysis machines and defibrillators. MeDevIS provides a centralized source of trusted information, eliminating the need to consult multiple, dispersed and often inconsistent sources.

Benefits of MeDevIS

Facilitating decision making: MeDevIS allows users to verify the devices they need and obtain crucial details about the type of healthcare system using them, their scope of application, and the infrastructure required.

Simplification of nomenclature: In addition to centralizing information, MeDevIS seeks to unify the nomenclature of medical devices. It uses the European Medical Device Nomenclature (EMDN) and the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN), which facilitates regulation, acquisition and inventory management.

Support for national policies: The platform is a valuable tool for policy makers to develop or update national health technology procurement lists, thereby contributing to progress towards universal health coverage.

Impact on universal health coverage

Dr Deus Mubangizi, Director of Health Product Policy and Standards at WHO, noted that MeDevIS will not only assist policy makers, but will also help insurers and reimbursement agencies to formulate more effective policies. This WHO effort builds on its experience with the Priority Medical Devices List and the Model List of Essential Medicines, which have been key pillars of global public health.

This is the first time that WHO has created a global repository of medical devices of this magnitude. MeDevIS was developed from the WHO Priority List of Medical Devices and the Model List of Essential Medicines, which has improved the lives of millions of people around the world for almost 50 years.

WHO will continue to improve and expand the MeDevIS platform, working in collaboration with multiple stakeholders and partners. The inclusion of new technologies and medical devices, especially those used in pandemic and emergency situations, is planned.

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