launch of MeDevIS, a new platform to improve access to medical devices

launch of MeDevIS, a new platform to improve access to medical devices

This platform aims to help governments, regulators and users make informed decisions about the selection, purchase and use of medical devices for the diagnosis, screening and treatment of diseases, WHO explains on its website.

According to the UN agency, the MeDevIS platform lists 2,301 types of medical devices covering a wide range of health issues, including those related to reproductive health, maternal, newborn and child health, as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

“Medical technologies used in health care are increasingly numerous and complex, which can make their use difficult for health workers and patients,” said WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products Yukiko Nakatani.

“Our goal is to provide centralized and wider access to international information, which can be extremely useful for people making decisions about life-saving medical technologies, especially in countries with limited resources,” she added.

According to the WHO, there are more than 10,000 different medical devices used worldwide for protection, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Within this broad category are pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, disposable syringes, surgical masks, various laboratory tests, and other diagnostic equipment such as electrocardiographs and endoscopes.

The advantage of MeDevIS is that it enables verification of required devices, including the type of healthcare facility where the device is used (e.g. community or specialist hospital), the purpose of the device and the required infrastructure, among others.

In addition, the platform replaces paper literature searches in several publications where device naming is not standardized, which can make the task even more complex. According to WHO Director of Health Product Policy and Standards in the Access to Medicines and Health Products Division, Deus Mubangizi, “The MeDevIS platform can be used by national policy makers to establish or update their own national procurement lists for health technologies and medical devices and can contribute to achieving universal health coverage.

WHO says it will work to continuously improve the MeDevIS platform, engaging more stakeholders and partners and adding technologies and devices used in different areas of health, including pandemic and emergency situations.

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