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Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System™

Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System™ (UMDNS) is a standard international nomenclature and computer coding system for medical devices. UMDNS is the worldwide nomenclature that has been officially adopted by many nations. It is used in ECRI Institute’s databases and publications, as well as in thousands of healthcare institutions worldwide. UMDNS is also available in Spanish.

Manage medical devices better
The purpose of UMDNS is to facilitate identifying, processing, filing, storing, retrieving, transferring, and communicating data about medical devices. The nomenclature is used in applications ranging from hospital inventory and work-order controls to national agency medical device regulatory systems and from e-commerce and procurement to medical device databases.

33,000+ medical device terms
UMDNS contains 10,056 unique medical device concepts and definitions (preferred terms), along with an additional 23,004 entry terms to facilitate classifying of biomedical information.

UMDNS contains explicit relationships among the 33,000+ terms, including hierarchical relationships (e.g., parent:child terms) and synonymous relations, as well as relationships among related devices (e.g., component devices versus the overall system).

Endorsed internationally
Numerous organizations and agencies have endorsed UMDNS for use in various applications.
  • The U.S. National Library of Medicine incorporates UMDNS into its Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).
  • The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recommends using ECRI Institute's UMDNS in its Manufacturer Disclosure Statement for Medical Device Security (MDS2) form.
  • The Committee on Data Standards for Patient Safety of the Institute of Medicine recommended UMDNS as one of the core terminologies for the electronic health record.
  • In addition, the ISO/IEC Registration Authority for the International Standard 15459 has granted ECRI Institute an “Issuing Agency Code” (IAC). ECRI Institute’s IAC can be used with the UMDNS unique medical device code (UMDC) in the creation and use of unique identifiers for medical devices and related supplies for a range of applications, such as asset tracking, acquisitions management and inventory control.

There are many efforts to harmonize UMDNS as part of nomenclature systems worldwide. Specifically, UMDNS was used by the European Union at the recommendation of the European standards body (CEN) as an interim solution for medical device terminology in support of the Medical Device Directive. ECRI Institute and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed in 1997 to harmonize both UMDNS and FDA’s device classification system.

Several types of UMDNS membership are available for noncommercial uses. Potential commercial users (e-commerce sites, publishers, software providers) can get commercial licensing information by contacting ECRI Institute’s UMDNS group or any ECRI Institute office. A commercial UMDNS license requires payment of a licensing and support fee. The amount of the fee depends on the application and nature of the support required from ECRI Institute.

Please contact ECRI Institute at umdns@ecri.org for more information on UMDNS, or complete the online UMDNS license agreement. You will be given a user ID and password to access the UMDNS membership service on the ECRI Institute web site.

Types of membership

  • UMDNS
  • UMDNS Plus
  • Sourcebase Gold

UMDNS
The Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System™ (UMDNS™) is Web based, available free of charge to all UMDNS licensees, and updated annually. UMDNS includes:

  • All current UMDNS preferred terms and their corresponding unique five-digit Universal Medical Device Code (UMDC)
  • All preferred terms modified or retired since the last release of UMDNS
  • All existing Concept definitions (Glossary)
  • All UMDNS Concept Relationships and entry terms (cross-references)
  • The Spanish translation of UMDNS

UMDNS Plus
Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System™ (UMDNS™) Plus is a Web based service that provides monthly updates, and includes the following downloadable files:

  • All current UMDNS preferred terms and their corresponding unique five-digit Universal Medical Device Code (UMDC)
  • All Sourcebase manufacturers and their associated six-digit code 
  • All UMDC codes associated with each manufacturer
  • All existing Concept definitions (Glossary)
  • All UMDNS Concept Relationships and entry terms (cross-references)
  • All preferred terms modified or retired since the last release of UMDNS Plus
  • The UMDNS Thesaurus in PDF format
  • The Spanish translation of UMDNS

Sourcebase Gold
Sourcebase Gold is Web based, receives monthly updates, and includes the following components:

Online access to ECRI Institute’s Health Devices International Sourcebase—the original comprehensive planning and purchasing guide to medical equipment and suppliers. It also includes the following downloadable data files:

  • UMDNS Data
  • All current UMDNS preferred terms and their corresponding unique five-digit Universal Medical Device Code (UMDC)
  • All existing Concept definitions (glossary)
  • All UMDNS Concept Relationships and entry terms (cross-references)
  • All UMDNS specialty categories and their corresponding terms
  • All preferred terms retired since the last release of Sourcebase Gold
  • The UMDNS Thesaurus in PDF format
  • The Spanish translation of UMDNS
  • Sourcebase company data
  • All Sourcebase companies and their associated six-digit code and detailed contact information
  • All UMDC codes associated with each company
  • A company history file indicating previous names under which the company operated, including mergers, acquisitions, and name changes
  • A listing of all subsidiary companies and their corresponding parent companies

Copyright notice
UMDNS is owned and copyrighted by ECRI Institute. UMDNS codes and terms may not be disseminated, reproduced, or in any way made available to any third party or be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the prior written consent of ECRI Institute.

How can we help you? 
Whether you’d like to find out more about the products described above, or you need tools to help you meet other challenges, our experts can help. For more information, view the contact us, e-mail your request to Client Management Services, or call us at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891.

It's Time to Renew Your UMDNS License
All UMDNS users must complete the annual license agreement to keep your license active. Renew today.

UMDNS Request a Term

NEW! Additional file formats, new term definitions, and monthly content updates! E-mail umdns@ecri.org to learn more about our new enhancements. 

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