World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new online platform, MeDevIS (Medical Devices Information System), to increase access to medical technologies and devices.

MeDevIS is said to be the world’s first global open-access clearing house for information on medical devices.

The platform is intended to assist governments, regulators, and users in making informed decisions regarding the selection, procurement, and utilisation of medical devices for diagnostics, testing, and treatment of diseases.

MeDevIS has 2,301 types of medical devices, spanning across a wide spectrum of health issues.

These include reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, noncommunicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, as well as infectious diseases such as Covid-19.

WHO access to medicines and health products assistant director-general Yukiko Nakatani said: “The number of medical technologies used in health care is growing, as is their complexity, which can make it challenging for health care practitioners and patients to navigate.

“We aim to provide a one stop shop of international information, which can be invaluable for those making decisions on life-saving medical technologies, especially in resource-limited settings, and to improve access.”

MeDevIS offers users the ability to search for specific medical devices, including details such as device type, recommended healthcare system level, device scope, required infrastructure, and other relevant categories.

According to WHO, the open access platform replaces traditional paper-based literature searches across multiple publications.   

Additionally, the platform aims to streamline the naming of medical devices using the European Medical Device Nomenclature (EMDN) and the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN).

These naming systems include codes and definitions that can be universally applied, facilitating regulatory approval, procurement and supply, inventory management in healthcare sites, tracking, and pricing.

The launch of MeDevIS marks the WHO’s first global repository for medical devices, using its experience with the WHO Priority Medical Devices List (MDL).

The health agency plans to continue enhancing the MeDevIS platform by engaging with multiple stakeholders and partners. WHO will also expand the online platform with additional technologies and devices used in various healthcare domains.

Last month, the agency joined partners at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional meeting to increase access to diagnostic testing.