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WHO Introduces MeDevIS Platform to Enhance Access to Medical Technologies

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

July 11, 2024

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MeDevIS includes details on 2,301 types of medical devices, covering a broad range of health issues, such as reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, as well as non-communicable diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched an online platform called MeDevIS (Medical Devices Information System) to provide open access to information on medical devices. 

This platform is the first global repository on medical devices created by the WHO, based on its previous work with the WHO Priority Medical Devices List (MDL) and the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML).

MeDevIS includes details on 2,301 types of medical devices, covering a broad range of health issues, such as reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, as well as non-communicable diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

This platform aims to assist governments, regulators, and users in making informed decisions regarding the selection, procurement, and use of medical devices for diagnostics, testing, and treatment.

Dr Yukiko Nakatani, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products, said, “The number of medical technologies used in health care is growing, as is their complexity, which can make it challenging for health care practitioners and patients to navigate. We aim to provide a one-stop shop of international information, which can be invaluable for those making decisions on life-saving medical technologies, especially in resource-limited settings, and to improve access.”

WHO plans to continually enhance the MeDevIS platform by engaging multiple stakeholders and partners. The platform will be expanded to include technologies and devices used in various health areas, including pandemic and emergency settings.

The MeDevIS platform became operational in March 2024 for consultation with WHO Member States and was publicly released on July 8th, 2024, through an online webinar titled “Nomenclature of Medical Devices: EMDN & GMDN.”

Comprehensive Database of Medical Devices

Globally, over 10,000 different medical devices are used to protect, prevent, diagnose, treat, or rehab health issues. These range from simple tools such as pulse oximeters and digital thermometers to complex equipment such as hemodialysis units and defibrillators. 

MeDevIS consolidates information that was previously scattered across various sources, making it easier for users to find reliable data.

The platform allows users to check the details of the devices they need, including the type, the level of healthcare systems required to support the device (eg., community or specialized hospitals), the scope of the device, and the necessary infrastructure. 

MeDevIS simplifies the naming and categorization of medical devices, referencing two international naming systems: the European Medical Device Nomenclature (EMDN) and the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN).

Sharing thoughts, Dr Deus Mubangizi, WHO Director for health products policy and standards in the Access to Medicines and Health Products division, said, “The MeDevIS platform can be useful for national policymakers to develop or update their own national lists for the procurement of health technologies and devices and can contribute to the progress towards universal health coverage. It can also help agencies in health insurance and reimbursement policies for patients.”


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