What is a medical product?
What is a medical product?

Medical devices

It is essential to have access to high quality, affordable and appropriate health products in order to improve universal health coverage, address medical emergencies, and promote healthier people.

Medical devices are essential for common medical procedures, such as bandaging a sprained foot, diagnosing HIV/AIDS, and implanting an artificial hip. Medical devices can be used in many settings. They are used by doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, and patients in remote clinics. Also, opticians, dentists, and health-care professionals working in advanced medical facilities for palliative and prevention care. These health technologies can be used to diagnose and monitor illness, as well as to help disabled patients and intervene in and treat chronic illnesses.

There are currently 2 million types of medical devices worldwide. These devices can be grouped into over 7000 generic groups.

Medical devices can include any device, instrument, implement, machine or appliance that is intended to be used for medical purposes.

WHO Global Fora on Medical Devices

In WHA resolutions WHA60.29 (2007), and WHA67.20 (2014), member states recognized that medical devices were essential for health-care delivery, but that regulation, selection and use of these devices presents enormous challenges, particularly for LMIC (low- and middle-income) countries.

The WHO Medical Devices is a global forum that allows everyone to access safe, affordable, and effective medical devices.

The WHO Global Fora on Medical Devices provides opportunities to exchange WHO initiatives that support country needs in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and the Sustainable Development Goals. These Fora are also an opportunity to hear about country and regional activities related to medical devices. The Fora provide information on WHO resources that are available to Member States for a variety of topics related to medical devices.

Policy on medical devices

Regulation of medical devices

Nomenclature for medical devices

Medical device innovation

Selection and prioritization for medical devices

Human resources for medical devices

Management of medical devices

Among others

Programs of the WHO Global Fora include presentations on a wide range of medical devices. They also present WHO initiatives, tools and resources.


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