Medical devices

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.

WHO to develop Essential Diagnostics List

The 20th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines was published on 6 June this year, with a number of important new additions, including a recommendation by the Expert Committee on the Selection of Essential Medicines that WHO develop an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL). Based on that recommendation, WHO has begun to lay the ground for the preparation of the list, which will become an important contribution to Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

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.

3rd WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices


Considering that Member States recognized in resolution WHA60.29 and WHA67.20 that medical devices are indispensable for health care delivery but their selection, regulation and use present enormous challenges, the 3 WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices was to be presented 10 years later to discuss the achievements that have been made in the field and the enormous challenges in low and middle income countries. This also served as an opportunity to share the WHO EMP strategy in the framework of Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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.