GMDN History

Medical Device experts 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. Highlights to date are:

1991 – First international workshop on harmonisation of medical devices nomenclature between Europe, Canada, and USA. Initial work was started by the European standards organisation, CEN.

1996 – Acceptance by the ISO of the creation of a global nomenclature standard for medical devices. A project was agreed to be financed by the European Commission.

1997 – 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.’

2001 – The GMDN Maintenance Agency Policy Group was established to be responsible for the publication and maintenance of the GMDN.

2002 – The first issue of GMDN on CD-ROM is published.

2005 – GMDN website is launched for more convenient on-line access to the GMDN. The GMDN Agency Ltd is established as a non-profit company to manage the GMDN membership service.

2008 – The European Commission starts the programme of translation of the GMDN into community languages.

2009 – The GMDN Agency establishes a Board of Trustees and Policy Advisory Group to manage GMDN governance.

2012 – Agreement with IHTSDO to use GMDN within Snomed patient records.

2013 – Agreement with US FDA to use GMDN in the first UDI Database.

2013 – The GMDN Agency became a registered UK Charity.

2014 – The GMDN Agency moves to purpose built offices in Oxford, UK.

2016 – A new website was launched for an improved customer experience, including removing fees for the new terms enquiry service.

2019 – Free GMDN Basic membership launched to all users, following a request from the WHO and European Commission.