WHO Medical Devices Newsletter, September 2020

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Here's the latest info shared by WHO's Adriana Velázquez regarding Medical Devices and the World Health Organization (September 2020 Edition).

Dear colleagues, we wish you and your family are doing well. Following last month’s format, this newsletter has updates from new documents released in September 2020.

3 sections organized by Information and guidance; 2. Action requested; 3. Open vacancies or consultations.


1. For information COVID-19 medical devices:
1.1 New page: Clinical Management of COVID-19

Please visit https://www.who.int/medical_devices/priority/COVID-19/en/. This page includes information related to essential supplies, forecasting tools, donations, SARI treatment centers, and the emergency supply system and catalog.

Please visit https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance-publications for all technical guidance on COVID-19 and select from the dropdown menu the topic you are searching for. These pages are also in various languages:


1.2 Priority medical devices and Technical specifications for procurement of medical equipment with consumables and accessories can be found: https://www.who.int/medical_devices/priority/COVID-19_medequipment/en/

Technical specifications for pressure-swing-adsorption (PSA plants) (Published final document July 2020)

Please note some are final drafts and are awaiting final clearance for publication in early October.

List of priority medical devices and technical specifications including:

COVID-19 Technical specifications of invasive and noninvasive ventilators V2. (Draft 11 August 2020)

COVID-19 Technical specifications for imaging devices developed with IAEA: portable ultrasound; mobile radiographic digital equipment; computed tomography (CT) scanning system (v 4 August 2020, awaiting final clearance and publication in October) Docx, 146kb

The draft specifications above will be integrated into a single publication along with other sets that are being updated including PPE will be available in October.


1.3. The updated information on the Personal protective equipment

On the use of masks:

Use of masks for children:

1.4. On in vitro diagnostics
Information about emergency use listing, please consult: ( these list includes PCR tests as well as the first antigen rapid test approved September)


Antigen-detection in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection using rapid immunoassays https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/antigen-detection-in-the-diagnosis-of-sars-cov-2infection-using-rapid-immunoassays ( 11 September) On Laboratories and diagnostics, documents can be found here

1.5 On the role of imaging diagnostics ( now available in 7 languages).
You can find the role of ultrasound, chest X rays, and CT scanners, here.

1.6 The Emergency Global Supply catalog. Updated 23 September 2020.

1.7 News: Member States briefing 1 October 2020


2. Welcome your action on facility survey, country survey, and on-line training:

2.1 Facility Surveys for biomedical equipment and oxygen supply required to manage COVID-19 and other diseases.

You can use this tool to complete your inventory, then use it to define the gaps in equipment or oxygen sources. The data is owned by the facility and will help do benchmarking, national assessments and to define your needs. If approved by the submitter, will be made public.


then the electronic survey can be found: https://o2therapy.surveycto.com/collect/who_covid_oxygen_therapy_scto_open?caseid= 
Password: facilityoxygen20

Soon the survey tool will be available in English, French, and Spanish

The excel table for the survey along with multiple technical guidance documents for COVID can be found in all 6 languages:

Arabic https://www.who.int/ar/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance 

Chinese https://www.who.int/zh/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance  

French https://www.who.int/fr/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance 

Spanish https://www.who.int/es/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance 


2.2 Country profiles - Global atlas of medical devices (2020 update)

Global Atlas of medical devices book provides the global, regional, and country data particularly on the availability of specific medical devices, policies, guidelines, standards, and services.

Please kindly update your country’s information for the Global Atlas on medical devices, so that the information is actual. Steps:

1. Go to https://www.who.int/medical_devices/countries/en/ 

2. Search for your country in the word version: Atlas Word document to update your country profile [Word, 4.62mb]

3. Related links:
- WHO Global Atlas of medical devices, 2017 [pdf, 11.63mb]
- Country profiles - Medical devices regulatory systems at the country level
- Global Health Observatory (GHO) interactive maps on medical devices
- Global health observatory, data repository

Ministries of Health of Member States can send requests to update contact people, new websites, new information and please send your word document with track changes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as needed.


2.3 Training and learning.

https://openwho.org/ “OpenWHO is WHO’s interactive, web-based, a knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve the response to health emergencies. OpenWHO enables the Organization and its key partners to transfer life-saving knowledge to large numbers of frontline responders.”

https://www.who.int/about/who-academy/ “With COVID-19 science now doubling every 20 days and new guidance being published daily by WHO, the WHO Academy continues to improve its COVID - 19 mobile learning app so that health workers can keep up with the constantly evolving knowledge related to this disease.”


3. Short term consultancies requested.

Requested: For Biomedical/ Clinical engineers or related disciplines, with more than 7 years’ experience, excellent English.

Desirable: Postgraduate degree and experience working in hospitals or clinics.

Timeline requested 2 months: 19th October to 18th December 2020. (possibly one week shift)

When submitting your CV please state for which specific activity, using the reference number.

If interested, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 6th October indicating the reference number of your application and add your CV. Thank you!

Reference Number



3.1 Training

Detailed daily monitoring and technical support towards the  development of training courses including: Set up, use and maintenance of oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, patient monitors, oxygen delivery devices, invasive and non invasive ventilators

The scripts and activities have been developed by previous consultants but the filming is starting 19 October in Toronto, and thus requires specific detailed follow up.

 3.2 Country support


Country/ regional  support: locally recruited:
a. support facility assessments of biomedical equipment including oxygen sources, (inventory survey listed above)

b. follow up for the training of new medical equipment

c. evaluate innovative technologies in the setting

d. consolidate information on donated equipment status

e. support the provision of country information for any of the surveys mentioned section 2 above

f. provide information for local production of medical devices including personal protective equipment

g. provide input for operational research on medical devices

h. disseminate locally WHO information on medical devices, as needed.

(when you send your CVs please state which if these tasks (a to g) you have expertise)

WHO Regional offices:  Brazzaville, Manila, Cairo, New Delhi. Examples of countries: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Dem. Rep., Congo, Rep., Eritrea, Gambia, The, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Fed. Sts., Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Venezuela, RB, Yemen, Rep., Zimbabwe 


Global guidance on Donations, collection of data



Global guidance on Local production of personal protective equipment



Global guidance on Local production of medical equipment



Global guidance on Oxygen supply  costs and delivery



Global compilation and analysis of facility assessments, monitoring,



Global compilation and data on innovative technologies



Global guidance on Personal protective equipment: standards and quality assurance


Any doubts on COVID related, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Any requests or comments, please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Any news on your on-line conferences, please send information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can disseminate as appropriate. All past newsletters can be found at https://www.who.int/medical_devices/publications/Medical_Devices_Newsletter/en/

PLEASE STAY SAFE!! | Let’s remember the importance of increasing access to affordable, appropriate, good quality medical devices, especially for those that need them the most!

Adriana Velazquez Berumen, MSc. | Biomedical Engineer | Group Lead Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics,  MDD | Health Product Policy and Standards Department,  HPS | Access to Medicines and Health Products Division,  MHP | World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland