SWITZERLAND—The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced MeDevIS (Medical Devices Information System), the first global open-access clearinghouse for information on medical devices.

This platform replaces paper-based literature searches across multiple publications with non-standard device names, which can add complexity by providing a single platform.

MeDevIS references two international naming systems for medical devices: the European Medical Device Nomenclature (EMDN), and the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN).

These naming systems include coding and definitions, facilitating registration for regulatory approval, procurement, supply, inventories in health facilities, tracking, and pricing in every country.

Designed to support governments, regulators, and users, MeDevIS aids in decision-making regarding the selection, procurement, and use of medical devices for diagnostics, testing, and treatment of various health conditions.

The platform includes 2,301 types of medical devices addressing a wide range of health issues, such as reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health; non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases

In his address, Dr. Yukiko Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, emphasized that the increasing number and complexity of medical technologies make it challenging for healthcare practitioners and patients to navigate.

MeDevIS aims to provide a one-stop shop of international information that is invaluable for decision-making on life-saving medical technologies, especially in resource-limited settings, to improve access.

For his part, Dr. Deus Mubangizi, WHO Director for Health Products Policy and Standards, highlighted that MeDevIS can assist national policymakers in developing or updating their national lists for procuring health technologies and devices.

This platform can contribute to progress toward universal health coverage and help agencies with health insurance and reimbursement policies for patients.

Globally, over 10,000 different medical devices are used to protect, prevent, diagnose, treat, or rehab health issues.

 These include simple and complex technologies such as pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, single-use syringes, medical masks, diagnostic laboratory tests, electrocardiograms, endoscopes, imaging radiology technologies, hemodialysis units, defibrillators, implantable prostheses, cardiac stents, and complex radiotherapy equipment.

However, multiple separate sources of information from major international organizations, regulatory bodies, and donor agencies make it difficult for users to discern and utilize the most reliable data.

In MeDevIS, users can check devices based on type, level of healthcare systems, scope, and required infrastructure, among other categories.

For the first time, the WHO has developed a global repository of medical devices based on its experience with the WHO Priority Medical Devices List (MDL), itself based on the experience of creating the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML).

WHO will continually improve the MeDevIS platform, engaging multiple stakeholders and partners and expanding it with additional technologies and devices in various health areas, including pandemic and emergency settings.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook