ISO 13485
          2003 Plain English Definitions

These definitions are obsolete. See our NEW ISO 13485 2016 Definitions.

Medical Device

A manufactured product is defined
as a medical device if it is used to:

  • Cope with human disease:

    • Prevent human disease.
    • Diagnose human disease.
    • Treat human disease.
    • Alleviate human disease.
    • Monitor human disease.
  • Care for human injuries:

    • Diagnose human injuries.
    • Treat human injuries.
    • Alleviate human injuries.
    • Monitor human injuries.
    • Compensate for human injuries.
  • Meet human anatomical needs:

    • Investigate human anatomical issues.
    • Replace human anatomical structures.
    • Modify human anatomical structures.
    • Support human anatomical structures.
  • Maintain human physiological functions:

    • Investigate human physiological functions.
    • Replace human physiological functions.
    • Modify human physiological functions.
    • Support human physiological functions.
  • Support or sustain human life.

  • Control human conception.

  • Disinfect human medical devices.

  • Examine specimens taken from human bodies.

Medical devices can include:

  • Instruments
  • Appliances
  • Implants
  • Machines
  • Software
  • Materials
  • Calibrators
  • Apparatuses
  • In vitro reagents
  • Related articles

Manufactured products that achieve results by pharmacological,
immunological, or metabolic means are not medical devices.
However, the results achieved by medical devices may be
assisted by these means.

Active Medical Device

An active medical device is a medical device that uses
electrical energy or other source of power to make
it function. (Devices that are powered by the human body
or by gravity are not included in this definition.)

Implantable Medical Device

An implantable medical device is a medical device that:

  is partly or totally inserted into the human
   body or a natural orifice and is expected
   to stay there for 30 days or more, or

  is used to replace an epithelial surface
   or the surface of the eye and is expected
   to stay in use for 30 days or more.

Surgical or medical procedures are used to insert
or apply implantable medical devices and surgical
or medical procedures must be used to remove them.

Active Implantable Medical Device

An active implantable medical device:

  is a medical device that uses
   electricity or other energy, and

  is partly or totally inserted into the human
   body or a natural orifice by means of
   surgical or medical procedures, and

  is expected to stay there after
   the procedure is completed.

Sterile Medical Device

A sterile medical device is a medical device that must be free
from live bacteria or other microorganisms and their spores.
National or regional standards and regulations often define the
sterility requirements that sterile medical devices must meet.

Advisory Notice

Organizations often issue advisory notices after their medical
devices have been delivered. These advisory notices provide
supplementary information about the device or specify actions
that should be taken. Advisory notices:

  • discuss the use of medical devices

  • discuss the modification of medical devices

  • discuss the destruction of medical devices

  • discuss the return of medical devices

National or regional regulations often require
organizations to issue advisory notices.

Also see our ISO 9000 Quality Management Definitions, and
our ISO 14971 Medical Device Risk Management Definitions.


OUR ISO 13485 2016 PAGES

Introduction to ISO 13485 2016

Outline of ISO 13485 2016 Standard

Overview of ISO 13485 2016 Standard

ISO 13485 2016 versus ISO 13485 2003

Plain English ISO 13485 2016 Definitions

ISO 13485 2016 Translated into Plain English

ISO 13485 2016 Quality Management Checklist

ISO 13485 2016 Quality Management Gap Analysis

ISO 13485 2016 Quality Management Audit Program

Skills and Knowledge Internal Auditors Should Have


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Updated on May 16, 2016. First published on December 20, 2004.

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