Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly – Daily update 29 May

Standardization of medical devices nomenclature

On the final day of the 75th World Health Assembly, Member States requested the Secretariat to continue the integration of information related to terms, codes and definitions of existing systems for naming medical devices, and make them available to Member States, through its Medical Devices Information System (MEDEVIS). They asked the Secretariat to link MEDEVIS to other WHO electronic platforms, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The process will advance the management of medical devices with the goal of enhancing access to medical devices; contributing to emergency preparedness and response; and improving patient safety and the quality of health care.

There are currently thousands of types of different medical devices in use, ranging from stethoscopes to complex imaging technologies. The absence of a common standard name for each type of medical device has caused confusion between the various types of devices; affected supply and traceability, and impeded health care delivery.

The survey that informed the latest edition of the WHO global atlas of medical devices indicates that 75 countries do not have an official nomenclature system.

The Secretariat is to report on progress at the 152nd Executive Board.

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