Medical devices

Nomenclature of medical devices

The nomenclature of medical devices is a coding system used to generically identify medical devices and related health products. 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. Several naming systems for medical devices exist and each is used by a different group of professionals depending on the needs of that particular group, needs such as maintenance, procurement, accounting, stock keeping, regulatory affairs, adverse medical device event reporting, and customs operations. The Global Medical Devices Nomenclature System (GMDN) and the Universal Medical Devices Nomenclature System (UMDNS) are the two nomenclature systems being primarily used for medical devices.

However, the number of systems in existence can still make it difficult to communicate between individuals and organizations. As such, WHO is working towards a unified nomenclature system that can be used globally. To begin this process, a consultative meeting was held with stakeholders in March 2011, with follow-up meetings planned later this year to discuss forward work.

Informal consultation on nomenclature for medical devices, 23-24 March 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

Nomenclature Systems for Naming and Classifying Concepts Related to Health Technologies

Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10)

International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS)

International Nonproprietary Name Program (INN)

ISO 9999 Assistive products for persons with disability

ISO/TC 210, Quality management and corresponding general aspects for medical devices, WG3, Symbols and nomenclature for medical devices

Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA)

Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT)

Unique Device Identification (UDI)

Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System (UMDNS)

United Nations Standard Product and Service Code (UNSPSC)

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Upcoming meetings

2 September 2011
Washington D.C., USA

14 October 2011
Geneva, Switzerland

Past Meetings

Informal consultation on nomenclature for medical devices,
23-24 March 2011, Geneva, Switzerland