UK – Medical devices: information for users and patients

What is a medical device?

A medical device is a healthcare product or piece of equipment that a person uses for a medical purpose. It is not a medicine or drug. Medical devices can diagnose, monitor or treat disease and help people with physical impairments become more independent.

Medical devices that people buy for personal use include:

  • blood glucose meters
  • blood pressure monitors
  • condoms
  • contact lenses and solutions
  • pregnancy test and other self-test kits
  • wheelchairs

CE marking

Medical devices must have a CE mark by law. This mark means that, provided you use it correctly, the device will work properly and is safe.

No device is 100% safe or reliable., The known risks of complications must be balanced in comparison to the benefits of the device, as stated by the manufacturer.

If you have any questions about weighing up the pros and cons of using a device for personal use, please speak to a healthcare professional.

Buying medical devices for personal use

Before you buy the device

Before you buy a medical device for your own use, it’s important to:

  • make sure it is suitable for your medical condition
  • check it has a CE mark
  • check if the manufacturer’s address is on the device or the packaging
  • get a demonstration of how to use the device – especially if it’s a complicated device or procedure

If you’re buying online, please see the following guidance…