WHO List of Priority Medical Devices for Cancer Management. (WHO Medical Device Technical Series)
(2017; 252 pages)

Abstract

Medical devices are indispensable for health care provision, as emphasized in various WHO resolutions. The rise of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) demands that WHO identify appropriate, basic and priority medical devices, and compile a WHO model list and clearing house that can serve as a reference to Member States. The outcome of this process is the WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management publication, which describes the medical devices that are required to manage cancer, based on the list of clinical interventions selected from clinical guidelines on prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, monitoring and end of life care. This publication addresses medical devices that can be used for management of cancer and specifically describes medical devices for six types of cancer: breast, cervical, colorectal, leukemia, lung and prostate.

The first section of this publication defines the global increase in cancer cases, the global goals to manage NCDs and the WHO activities related to these goals.

The second section presents the methodology used for the selection of medical devices that support clinical interventions required to screen, diagnose, treat and monitor cancer stages, as well as the provision of palliative care, based on evidence-based information.

The third section lists the priority medical devices required to manage cancer in seven different units of health care services: 1. Vaccination, clinical assessment and endoscopy, 2. Medical imaging and nuclear medicine, 3. Surgery, 4. Laboratory and pathology, 5. Radiotherapy, 6. Systemic therapy and 7. Palliative and end of life care. The lists include the basic technologies required to provide general services and the specific priority medical devices to manage cancer. This section also examines other health system components such as infrastructure, human resources and quality management requirements and guidance documents by service unit. This is the core information presented by clinical service unit. It is very important to note the need for effective communication with the patient and among clinicians of diagnostic results and treatments across all components of the care pathway, of the different units and to note the interaction and sequencing of the interventions as thus of all the medical devices required to perform them.

The last section proposes the activities required in a country or setting where the present guidance and lists are to be implemented, on available clinical guidelines based on evidence and multidecision criteria by international experts but the expensive and specialized technologies for specialized hospitals may require a comprehensive health technology assessment considering local infrastructure, human resources and costing. These activities include performing a needs assessment and cross-referencing and adjusting lists according to country priorities, infrastructure, specialized human resources available and budget; a health technology assessment for the prioritization of medical devices to be included in the country’s benefits package or to cost them for reimbursement if this is applicable; and the selection and incorporation of the devices into the healthcare system within a health technology management process.

Finally, this document mentions future activities in the development of the WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management where further investments are needed.

The annexes describe the clinical interventions considered in this study, the experts information as well as the methodological tools used to develop these lists, including the three working tools to prioritize and select the interventions and technologies and finally a compilation of all the medical devices listed in this publication, by categories, for the users reference.

This book is intended for ministries of health, public health planners, health technology managers, disease management, researchers, policy makers, funding and procurement agencies, and support and advocacy groups for cancer patients.

 
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