Medical devices

WHO to develop Essential Diagnostics List

The report of the second meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In Vitro was launched in November 2019 and includes the updated WHO Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics (EDL), which lists 122 in vitro diagnostic categories and incorporates evidence base and expositions of the applications to be included on the EDL and the basis of decisions made to list or reject these IVDs. The evidence is expected to guide countries on constituting their national EDLs.

4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices


The 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices “Increasing access to medical devices” took place in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, from Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th, December 2018.

Countries rely on the use of medical devices to achieve universal health coverage, respond to health emergencies, and keep populations safe. In resolution WHA60.29 Member States recognized that medical devices are indispensable for health care delivery, however their selection, regulation and use presents enormous challenges. WHO proposed to organize the 4th Global Forum on Medical Devices to discuss this important topic.

WHO List of priority medical devices for cancer management

The WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management describes the medical devices that are required to manage cancer, based on the list of clinical interventions selected from clinical guidelines on prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, monitoring and end of life care. This publication addresses medical devices that can be used for management of cancer and specifically describes medical devices for six types of cancer: breast, cervical, colorectal, leukemia, lung and prostate.
The primary financial support for this study was provided by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Global Atlas of medical devices

Present the status of development of health technology programmes dedicated to medical devices in Member States. Based on information taken from the Baseline Country Survey on medical devices that started on January 2010 and was updated on 2013-2015, and later on minor yearly updates. Nominate an official health technology focal point in the country ministry who is in charge of coordinating the reply to the country questionnaire.

2017 WHO Global Model Regulatory Framework for Medical Devices including in vitro diagnostic medical devices

WHO Global Model Regulatory Framework for medical devices including in vitro diagnostic medical devices is intended to provide guidance to WHO Member States that have yet to develop and implement regulatory controls relating to continuing to improve their regulatory frameworks.

Human Resources for medical devices, role of Biomedical engineer

In this book, part of the Medical device technical series, WHO presents the different roles the biomedical engineer can have in the life cycle of a medical device, from conception to use. It is recognized that medical devices are becoming ever more indispensable in health-care provision and among the key specialists responsible for their design, development, regulation, evaluation and training in their use – are biomedical engineers.

United Nations Commision on Life-Saving Commodities

The United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children aims to increase access to life-saving medicines and health supplies for the world’s most vulnerable people by championing efforts to reduce barriers that block access to essential health commodities. The commission has made 10 recommendations to increase access to 13 essential, overlooked commodities in four categories (reproductive health, maternal health, newborn health, and child health). WHO is fully responsible for recommendations 4 and 5 and participates in others as needed. The Medical Devices unit is specifically looking at strengthening the quality and improving the regulatory efficiency of three specific types of medical devices: the female, neonatal resuscitation equipment (mask, valve and bag), and for injectable antibiotics.

Interagency list of priority medical devices for essential interventions (ILMDEI) for reproductive ,maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH)

The ILMDEI is a tool to support planning in the health sector. It assists in the selection, procurement and use of medical devices for RMNCH interventions. The purpose of the list is to have a rational selection of medical devices needed to implement WHO evidence-based guidelines on RMNCH interventions.

WHO Medical Devices Newsletter

Medical Devices - Definitions

  • August 2014


    ‘Medical device’ means any instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, appliance, implant, reagent for in vitro use, software, material or other similar or related article...

Medical devices are essential for safe and effective prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and disease. The achievement of health-related development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals upon proper manufacturing, regulation, planning, assessment, acquisition, management and use of medical devices which are of good quality, safe and compatible with the settings in which they are used.

As outlined in the World Health Assembly resolution WHA60.29, the WHO Department of Essential Health Technologies (EHT), Diagnostics Imaging and Medical devices Team (DIM) aims to ensure improved access, quality and use of safe and appropriate medical devices in line with Primary .

This film highlights the importance of medical devices to and reviews the challenges and way forward for improving access to medical devices.