Lets talk about Medical technology!

A medical device is an object which is useful for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Examples of medical devices include medical thermometers, blood sugar meters, and X-ray machines.

European definition

Directive 2007/47/ec of the European Parliament and of the council of 5 September, 2007, which amended the Council Directive 93/42/EEC of 14 June, 1993 concerning medical devices, defines a medical device as any instrument, apparatus, appliance, software, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software intended by its manufacturer to be used specifically for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes and necessary for its proper application, intended by the manufacturer to be used for human beings. Devices are to be used for the purpose of:

  • Diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease.
  • Diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of or compensation for an injury or handicap.
  • Investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process
  • Control of conception

This includes devices that do not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but which may be assisted in its function by such means.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regulates medical devices in the UK under European legislation. Medical devices must not be mistaken with medicinal products.

Definition in Canada by the Food and Drugs Act

The term medical devices, as defined in the Food and Drugs Act, covers a wide range of health or medical instruments used in the treatment, mitigation, diagnosis or prevention of a disease or abnormal physical condition. Health Canada reviews medical devices to assess their safety, effectiveness and quality before being authorized for sale in Canada.

European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

The classification of medical devices in the European Union is outlined in Annex IX of the Council Directive 93/42/EEC. There are basically four classes, ranging from low risk to high risk. Including used EKG machines

  • Class I (including Is & Im)
  • Class IIa
  • Class IIb
  • Class III

The authorisation of medical devices is guaranteed by a Declaration of Conformity. This declaration is issued by the manufacturer itself, but for products in Class Is, Im, IIa, IIb or III, it should be backed by a Certificate of Conformity of so-called Notified Body (i.e. an organisation accredited to validate the compliance of the device to the European Directive). Medical devices that pertain to class I (on condition they do not need to be sterilised or are not used to measure a function) can be put on the market purely by self-certification.

The European classification depends on rules that involve the medical device’s duration of body contact, its invasive character, its use of an energy source, its effect on the central circulation or nervous system, its diagnostic impact or its incorporation of a medicinal product.

Certified medical devices should have the CE mark on the packaging, insert leaflets, etc.. These packagings should also show harmonised pictograms and EN standardised logos to indicate essential features such as instructions for use, expiry date, manufacturer, sterile, don’t reuse, etc.

used medical equipment and refurbished medical equipment

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