WHO Launches MeDevIS To Support Govt, Regulators In Decision-making

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World Health Organisation, WHO, has introduced an online platform, Medical Devices Information System, MeDevIS, the first global open access clearing house for information on medical devices designed to support governments, regulators and users in their decision-making on selection, procurement and the use of medical devices for diagnostics, testing and treatment of diseases and health conditions.

The MeDevIS platform includes 2,301 type of medical devices used for broad health issues, including reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, as well as infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

“The number of medical technologies used in health care is growing, as it is their complexity, which can make it challenging for health practitioners and patients to navigate. There are over 10,000 different medical devices that are being used for protection, prevention, diagnostics, treatment or rehabilitation of health issues globally. 

“These include multiple simple and complex medical technologies ranging from pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, single-use syringes and medical masks to various diagnostic laboratory tests and other medical equipment including electrocardiograms, endoscopes, all imaging radiology technologies and technologies used for treatments such as hemodialysis units and defibrillators, implantable prothesis, cardiac stents and complex radiotherapy equipment”.

He said currently, there are multiple and separate sources of information produced by major international organisations, regulatory bodies and donor agencies, making it difficult for users to discern and utilise the most reliable data. In MeDevIS, users can check devices they require, including type, level of health care systems to support the device (such as community or specialised hospitals), scope of the device and infrastructure required, among other categories.

“MeDevIS replaces paper-based literature search across multiple publications with non-standard device names which can add to the complexity. Along with providing a single platform, it also aims to make the naming of the medical devices simpler”.

Speaking, Director for Health Products Policy and Standards in the Access to Medicines and Health Products Division, WHO, Dr Deus Mubangizi, informed that the MeDevIS platform will be useful for national policymakers to develop or update their own national lists for 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.”

This is the first time that WHO has developed such a global repository on medical devices, based on its experience with priority Medical Devices List, MDL, which itself was based on the experience of creating the Essential Medicines List, EML. Approaching its 50th anniversary in 2025, EML is regarded as a pillar of public health in countries across the world, supporting health progress and touching billions of lives.

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