WHO and GMDN Agency sign agreement in support of global harmonisation of medical device nomenclatures

8 July 2024

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN) Agency announce a new collaboration that will improve the management and safety of medical devices used around the world.

The landmark new relationship will initially see the WHO using 3,000 GMDN Terms, Codes and Definitions within its online medical device information platforms such as the MeDevIS (Priority Medical Devices Information System), an open access WHO electronic database of Medical Devices.

The agreement between the two organizations will see colleagues from the GMDN providing support to the WHO via consultation, database management, data analysis, and ensuring the nomenclature is up to date and accurate on WHO platforms and helping with any WHO publications that reference GMDN.

This will improve communication about medical devices between the WHO, medical device regulators, healthcare providers, and others in the health sector.

Speaking about the partnership, Deniz Bruce, CEO of the GMDN Agency said:

“Our new collaboration with the World Health Organization represents a significant breakthrough for patients around the world. With full access to the GMDN, the WHO now has use of the GMDN nomenclature system for medical devices, enabling safer and more effective patient care.

“Co-ordinating more closely with the WHO is a great step forward for the GMDN Agency. GMDN adoption benefits all stakeholders by providing a common language that improves communication, efficiency, and safety in the medical device industry.”

GMDN offers a universal naming system for medical devices, serving as a common language that facilitates regulatory compliance and enhances patient safety across the globe.

The GMDN Database is a dynamic database that reflects the dynamic and innovative nature of the medical devices sector. New GMDN Terms are added to keep the nomenclature up to date with current medical technology.

About the GMDN Agency

The GMDN Agency is a registered UK charity and non-profit organisation responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the GMDN database.

The Agency was established to provide health authorities and regulators, healthcare providers, manufacturers and others with a system that allows an exchange of medical device information and supports patient safety.

About GMDN

The Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN) is the leading global standard for the naming, classification and categorisation of medical devices. Anyone can register for free as a member on the GMDN website to access and use any GMDN term.

Our nomenclature provides healthcare professionals, regulators, manufacturers and others with a common language to communicate and share information.

GMDN enables safer and more effective patient care, fosters innovation and collaboration in the medical device industry, and supports global harmonisation of regulatory requirements.

The GMDN is designed to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate new and emerging technologies, and it is continually updated to reflect changes in the medical device landscape. The system is used by regulators in over 70 countries worldwide and has members in 145 countries across the globe. It has become a critical component of the global regulatory infrastructure for medical devices.

The full GMDN is available for free to regulators, healthcare providers and academic researchers.

About the World Health Organization (WHO):

Founded in 1948, WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health. WHO leads global efforts to expand universal health coverage.

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