General Requirements?

Essential Requirements
What are the general technical requirements to bring my medical device product to the European market?

(18 June 2009)

1.      The devices must be designed and manufactured in such a way that, when used under the conditions and for the purposes intended, they will not compromise, directly or indirectly, the clinical condition or the safety of the patients, the safety or health of users or, where applicable, other persons, or the safety of property. Any risks which may be associated with their use must be acceptable when weighed against the benefits to the patient and be compatible with a high level of protection of health and safety.

2.   The solutions adopted by the manufacturer for the design and construction of the devices must conform to safety principles, taking account of the generally acknowledged state of the art.

In selecting the most appropriate solutions, the manufacturer must apply the following principles in the following order:

  • eliminate or reduce risks as far as possible (inherently safe design and construction),
  • where appropriate take adequate protection measures in relation to risks that cannot be eliminated,
  • inform users of the residual risks due to any shortcomings of the protection measures adopted.

3.   The devices must be designed and manufactured in such a way that they are suitable for the purposes referred to in Article 1(2)(b), as specified by the manufacturer, taking account of the generally acknowledged state of the art. They must achieve the performances, in particular, where appropriate, in terms of analytical sensitivity, diagnostic sensitivity, analytical specificity, diagnostic specificity, accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility, including control of known relevant interference, and limits of detection, stated by the manufacturer.

The traceability of values assigned to calibrators and/or control materials must be assured through available reference measurement procedures and/or available reference materials of a higher order.

4.    The characteristics and performances referred to in sections 1 and 3 must not be adversely affected to such a degree that the health or the safety of the patient or the user and, where applicable, of other persons, are compromised during the lifetime of the device as indicated by the manufacturer, when the device is subjected to the stresses which can occur during normal conditions of use. When no lifetime is stated, the same applies for the lifetime reasonably to be expected of a device of that kind, having regard to the intended purpose and the anticipated use of the device.

5.    The devices must be designed, manufactured and packed in such a way that their characteristics and performances during their intended use will not be adversely affected under storage and transport conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.) taking account of the instructions and information provided by the manufacturer.