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WHO Launches List Of Priority Medical Devices For
Management Of Cardiovascular Diseases And Diabetes

The WHO List of Priority Medical Devices for management of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, released recently , will help policy-makers and health-care providers prioritize the selection and procurement of medical devices for these health conditions. It includes more than 500 devices that are required at all levels of the health system, from primary care facilities to highly specialized hospitals, and devices needed for health emergencies such as cardiac arrest, stroke and hypo or hyper glycaemic emergencies.


The new List provides clinical guidelines for specific conditions, describes the relevant interventions required (e.g. hospitalization, cardiac surgery, intensive care, laboratory testing and medical imaging) and subsequently lists all the medical equipment required such as surgical instrument sets, personal protective equipment, and diagnostic and treatment devices.


The ultimate aim of this new List is to help health-care providers implement interventions that are essential for the detection and management of heart conditions and diabetes across the continuum of care, leading to fewer hospitalizations and deaths and the saving of precious health resources.


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which include cardiovascular diseases and diabetes represent 74% of global annual deaths and are responsible for more than 15 million people dying prematurely each year between the ages of 30 and 69. Low- and middle-income countries bear 85% of the burden of these premature deaths, largely because they lack the testing and monitoring equipment needed to screen for, diagnose and treat NCDs.


Along with the List, WHO has developed MeDevIS, a medical devices information system and clearing house where biomedical engineers, public policy-makers and hospital managers can find more information on specific medical devices, their use and how to look after them. The site currently lists 1500 devices and will continue to be updated for other diseases and health conditions.


The list is part of a series of lists prioritizing devices for highburden diseases, including cancer and COVID-19. These lists are based on the best available evidence about the essential medical devices countries need to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. They should be adapted to national contexts and used to update or develop national lists. Ultimately, the lists are meant to help countries increase the availability and appropriate use of medical devices and to promote access to better quality health services.


The full set of lists are the global reference for countries to develop or update their national lists for public procurement and reimbursement of devices for screening, diagnosis and treatment of disease. They also help them to ensure value for money and ultimately to increase access.


See list:


Abstracts from Concluding Remarks of the Report.


The present publication was completed thanks to a collaboration between interdisciplinary experts from around the world, as well as supportive nongovernmental organizations. It is envisioned that these lists of medical devices classified by clinical unit will assist policy-makers, health care managers and technical experts to define the needs of each setting and to inform the development or update of the national medical devices lists approved for procurement or reimbursement, towards universal health coverage.


Medical devices run the substantial risk of being unused due to technology misalignment with deployment settings . Contextually relevant interventions and devices must be selected to improve resource allocation in each country, depending on the local needs and resources available. Financing models are also an important consideration, and their ability to deliver services within health care systems should be carefully evaluated. The lists presented in this publication should be adapted by a local committee to different cultural norms and reviewed according to local epidemiology, national policies, regulatory frameworks, and the available specialized health care workforce, infrastructure, budget, and organizational structures. It is therefore important to consider innovation, regulatory approval of the technologies, and the health technology assessment process to enable informed decision-making, taking into consideration equity, social, clinical and economic aspects as well as health technology management aspects. Such informed decision making will ensure that the procurement, installation, training and safe use of technologies is done in the most effective way, ensuring the well-being of the patient.


The selection of the technologies required from the lists presented in this publication is just the first step of many to provide best care for patients. These technologies require multidisciplinary expertise to be implemented. More information will be available from WHO and other agencies to support selection, procurement and best use of these medical devices for all patients and specifically to target management of NCDs.


Much work is still needed in order to increase access to the appropriate, good-quality medical technology required to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor NCDs worldwide, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and to develop the human resource competencies of specialized interventions and ensure financial resources to provide the services under the universal health coverage initiative.


The recent COVID-19 global situation calls for prioritizing investment in prevention and management of health. It has been noted that population with NCDs are more prone to have COVID-19 complications, therefore the prevention and management of NCDs is of paramount importance and thus, important to have access to the medical devices required for them.


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