The History of GMDN

Experts in medical devices from around the world (manufacturers, healthcare authorities and regulators) compiled the GMDN based on international standards.

The work was mandated by the European Commission to support the implementation of the first European Medical Device Safety Directives. Since that time the use of the GMDN has spread throughout the world.

Some of our key highlights from this time are:


The first international workshop on harmonisation of medical devices nomenclature. Initial work was started by the European Standards Organisations, CEN.


ISO started work on a global standard nomenclature for medical devices. A project was agreed to be financed by the European Commission.


A project council was established to create the GMDN dataset, based on the international standard: ‘ISO 15225, Nomenclature, specification for a nomenclature system for medical devices for the purpose of regulatory data exchange.’


The GMDN Maintenance Agency Policy Group was established to be responsible for the publication and maintenance of the GMDN.


The first electronic issue of GMDN is published on CD-ROM.


The GMDN agency is established as a non-profit company to manage the GMDN and the GMDN website is launched for more convenient online access.


Translations of the GMDN into multiple languages starts.


The GMDN Agency establishes a Board of Trustees and Policy Advisory Group to manage GMDN governance.


Agreement with IHTSDO to use GMDN within Snomed patient records.


Agreement with US FDA to use GMDN in the first UDI Database.


The GMDN Agency became a registered UK Charity.


The GMDN Agency moves to purpose-built offices in Oxford, UK.


A new website was launched for an improved customer experience, including removing fees for the new terms enquiry service.


Free access to all GMDN Terms made available following a request from the WHO and European Commission.


The GMDN Agency launch a five-year strategy that sets out ambitious visions for growth. The new GMDN brand is launched as part of this.