Medical devices

2014 Call for innovative health technologies for low-resource settings

Do you have a new technology solution to a well-known health problem?

Do you have a technology solution to a health problem not yet addressed?

The Health Systems and Innovation cluster of WHO invite you to submit your technology to the 2014 Call for innovative health technologies for low-resource settings.
Selected submissions will be published in the WHO Compendium of innovative health technologies for low-resource settings 2014.

2013 Compendium of innovative health technologies for low-resource settings

The 2013 Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low-Resource Settings presents a snapshot of health technologies which might have the potential to improve health outcomes and the quality of life, or to offer a solution to an unmet medical/health technology need. This annual publication aims to encourage greater interaction among ministries of health, procurement officers, donors, technology developers, manufacturers, clinicians, academics and the general public to ensure greater investment in health technology and to move towards universal access to essential health technologies. In 2013, inclusion in the Compendium was restricted to commercialized products with regulatory approval. The full publication is available for download below.

Manual of diagnostic ultrasound, volume 2

We are proud to announce the publication of the Manual of diagnostic ultrasound, volume 2 (second edition). This new publication covers modern diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasonography extensively and will benefit medical professionals in improving ‘health for all’.
To download the document, please go to: Manual of diagnostic ultrasound, volume 2
To purchase a copy, please visit the WHO bookstore

United Nations Commission on Life-saving Commodities

Mothers and babies wait outsite for health workers to arrive at a health post, Nepal.
Ashok Bhurtyal/Courtesy of Photoshare

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.



  • 2 October 2013


    ‘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.

Publications and other resources

Contact information

Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Devices
Essential Medicines and Health Products
20 Avenue Appia
1211, Geneva 27
Phone: +41 22 791 1239
Fax: +41 22 791 4836