International – WHO Advances International Harmonized Nomenclature for Medical Devices

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Monday on recent progress toward the development of its international nomenclature for medical devices, known as the International Classification of Medical Devices (ICMD).

WHO discussed work in progress at the 4th Global Forum on Medical Devices, which took place last December.

“Having a nomenclature system in place for medical devices facilitates their management and regulation by standardizing terms that enable communication despite linguistic and other barriers,” WHO said in its recap of the forum. “This major project aims to have a comprehensive international harmonized nomenclature for medical devices, which would be freely available, downloadable.”

An example site to showcase ICMD is now available for browsing. WHO’s 2018 survey on medical device nomenclatures received a total of 43 responses, with 23 offers to collaborate or provide feedback and 11 different systems of nomenclature proposed for ICMD.

A September-November 2018 WHO consultation to pilot the agency’s new ICMD system drew more than 30 proposals and comments from a wide range of stakeholders, including Brazil’s ANVISA, the ECRI Institute, the GMDN Agency, Stryker and the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration. The GMDN Agency is among those that proposed its international coding system in support of ICMD’s development.

The initiative is centered on global harmonization for the plethora of nomenclatures of medical devices that currently exist across many different countries. It is being developed based on the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) platform, which serves as an ontological database for classifications and is suitable for linkage with unique device identification (UDI) systems…