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Medical device and IVD classifications

The European Union Medical Device Regulation (EU MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR) have ushered in significant changes to the regulatory landscape for medical devices. Understanding the classifications under these regulations is crucial for manufacturers, distributors, and other stakeholders. In addition to classifications, implementing a robust Quality Management System (QMS) is paramount. In this blog, we will explore the key concepts of classifications and shed light on the importance of an effective QMS.

1. EU MDR Classification:

The EU MDR classifies medical devices into four main categories based on the potential risks associated with their use:

  • Class I: Low-risk devices, such as bandages and non-invasive instruments.

  • Class IIa: Moderate-risk devices, including certain imaging devices and surgical instruments.

  • Class IIb: Higher-risk devices, like implantable devices and certain life-supporting equipment.

  • Class III: Devices with the highest risk, such as certain implantable devices and active implantable medical devices.

Manufacturers must obtain a conformity assessment based on their device's classification, involving a notified body for Class IIa and above.

2. IVDR Classification:

Similar to the MDR, the IVDR classifies in vitro diagnostic medical devices into four main classes based on the risk they pose:

  • Class A: Low-risk devices, such as basic reagents.

  • Class B: Devices with a moderate level of risk, like pregnancy test kits.

  • Class C: Higher-risk devices, including HIV or hepatitis test kits.

  • Class D: Devices posing the highest risk, like certain cancer diagnostic devices.

The conformity assessment process for IVDR involves a notified body for Class B and above.

3. Quality Management System (QMS):

  • Integral Component: A well-established QMS is fundamental for compliance with both MDR and IVDR. It ensures that processes are in place to meet regulatory requirements and consistently deliver safe and effective products.

  • Documentation and Traceability: QMS helps in maintaining detailed documentation, including risk management and post-market surveillance, contributing to better traceability throughout the product lifecycle.

  • Audits and Inspections: A robust QMS prepares companies for audits and inspections, facilitating a smoother process and reducing the risk of non-compliance.

4. Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Transition Period: Companies need to ensure a smooth transition from the previous directives to the new regulations while aligning their QMS accordingly.

  • Increased Scrutiny: With heightened requirements, there is a need for more thorough documentation and compliance within the QMS.

  • Global Alignment: Harmonizing QMS practices with international standards can streamline operations and facilitate market access beyond the EU.

5. Conclusion:

Navigating the EU MDR and IVDR classifications and integrating an effective QMS may seem complex, but it is essential for compliance, market access, and ultimately, patient safety. Manufacturers and stakeholders should prioritize a robust QMS, stay informed about regulatory changes, leverage resources from competent authorities, and seek professional guidance for a seamless transition.

Embracing these regulatory changes and investing in a strong QMS not only ensures compliance but also positions companies to thrive in the evolving landscape of medical devices within the European Union.

Examples here!

MD Classification
Download PDF • 1.60MB

IVDR Classification
Download PDF • 1.34MB


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