Medical Devices: Managing the Mismatch: An Outcome of the Priority Medical Devices Project
(2010; 147 pages) [French] [Russian] [Spanish]

This briefing paper summarizes the methodology used by the Priority Medical Devices (PMD) project team for the research and subsequent content published in the report, Medical Devices: Managing the Mismatch. This briefing paper outlines the main steps undertaken by the PMD team and points to other sources of more detailed information regarding the methodology used (see the annexes of this paper and background papers 1 and 2). The PMD project was established by WHO in 2007 with financial support from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands. The PMD project aimed at identifying gaps in the availability of medical devices and obstacles that might be hindering the full use of medical devices as public health tools. A second objective was the development of a methodology for identifying the medical devices needed to meet global public health needs. A third objective was to propose a possible research agenda for exploring how the gaps could be resolved and the obstacles removed. As the project progressed, however, the following findings suggested that a change in the original objective of the project was necessary: 1) there are many medical devices available but not the most appropriate ones; 2) there are few gaps in the availability of medical devices on the market. These unanticipated findings prompted a project shift in focus to the many shortcomings related to medical devices. These problems, challenges, and failures amount to a mismatch, rather than a gap, that prevents medical devices from achieving their full public health potential.
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