Medical devices and eHealth solutions have the potential to improve lives; however, too many people worldwide suffer because they lack access to health technologies. The World Health Organization (WHO) launches call for Innovative Health Technologies: Medical Devices & eHealth Solutions to highlight the importance of these technologies towards improved health outcomes and quality of life, and to raise awareness of the pressing need for appropriate design solutions.
The call is part of the Compendium Series, which was initiated to encourage a dialogue between stakeholders and stimulate further development and technology dissemination. The deadline for submission is 15 March 2013.
For the purpose of this call, the term ‘health technologies’ refers to eHealth solutions and medical devices. 'eHealth solutions' refer to the use of information and communication technologies including electronic and communication devices and applications (such as telemedicine; mobile applications for surveillance, telehealth, diagnostics, appointment reminders; etc.) in support of health systems and services. All eHealth applications should conform to the existing standards.
The term ‘medical devices’ covers medical equipment and instruments, in vitro diagnostics and imaging devices as well as assistive devices and related health technologies excluding clinical procedures, medicinal products, vaccines, biological therapeutic products, or tissue-engineered medical products.
Innovative health technologies in this context include:
- new products or applications;
- products or applications which have been commercialized for less than 5 years in high-resource settings but have not yet been widely used in low- and middle-resource settings;
- non-health products or applications that have recently been adapted for a health purpose; products available in low-resource settings for less than 5 years but not yet widely used.
The call is open to manufacturers, institutions, academia, individuals and non-profit organizations that design, manufacture and/or supply any type of innovative health technologies that are suitable for use in low-resource settings and address the global health concerns as outlined in section 4 at: http://bit.ly/ZHF2Yo
Contributors to the previous compendium series whose technology advanced from ‘under development’ status to launched product are encouraged to submit their updated entry.
Selection of technologies
All submissions undergo an evaluation process. Technologies will be assessed by an expert panel based on the material and evidence provided by the applicant as well as publicly available information.
Entries must demonstrate the technology’s suitability for use in low-resource settings. Technologies are then selected for inclusion in the Compendium if they meet at least one of the criteria below:
- The technology or the practice is better suited to address a health problem than existing solutions available or improves current health systems and services. Examples of improvements over existing technologies may include superior effectiveness; enhanced ease of use and maintenance; reduced training requirements; labor saving; improved safety level for user, patient, and/or environment; increased social and cultural acceptability; technical superiority; improved accessibility, better cost-effectiveness and affordability; reduced energy requirements.
- The technology provides an appropriate solution to a health problem not yet addressed by any other technology.
Participants should note that inclusion in the Compendium does not constitute a warranty for fitness of the technology for a particular purpose nor endorsement of the product by WHO.
For more information on the Innovative Health Technologies: Medical Devices & eHealth Solutions, visit the WHO eHealth website.