The Medical Device industry is a broad and exciting area of the life sciences market. It is currently one of the largest sectors within the global healthcare industry and continues to experience constant growth.

Medical Devices have a significant impact on the quality of human and animal life. They are products that are used for the diagnosis of medical conditions, or in the prevention and treatment of disease, as well as improving the quality of life of those with disabilities. Medical devices can come in the form of instruments, machines or implants and range from complex X-ray machines and artificial limbs, through to bandages and medical examination gloves.

Medical devices can be categorised into three classes. Class I, Class II and Class III. The class given to the product is based upon the risk that the medical device presents to the patient and also the level of regulation required to legally get the device to market.

Class I medical devices are the least regulated, with up to 95% of products in this category not being subjected to any regulatory controls. They include products such as bandages and stethoscopes – products which are simpler in design than Class II or III devices, and pose minimum danger to the user.

Class II medical devices make up the largest category, with the majority of medical devices falling into it. These include devices such as home pregnancy kits, nebulisers and x-ray machines. Medical devices that fall under this category are subject to tighter regulations than Class I devices.

Class III medical devices are those that are considered high-risk and could potentially present harm to the end user, if not used properly. However if administered correctly some Class III products can be vital to the maintenance of life in individuals with life-threatening conditions. Devices in this category include products such as replacement heart valves, implanted pacemakers and breast implants.

What are some examples of medical devices?

‘Medical devices’ is an umbrella term that can refer to virtually any items that is used as part of healthcare. Bandages, pacemakers, surgical gloves, thermometers, X-ray machines, prosthetic legs, syringes and MRI scanners are all examples of medical devices.

What are Class I, Class II and Class III medical devices?

Since ‘medical devices’ is a wide-ranging category, it is sometimes useful to divide medical devices into three different subcategories: Class I medical devices (common items like sticking plasters and stethoscopes), which pose little danger and are not subject to any special regulations; Class II medical devices (somewhat more complex items, such as catheters and blood pressure cuffs), which require a manufacturer’s declaration of safety and effectiveness; and Class III medical devices, which may pose significant risks if misused and are thus subject to strict regulatory controls.

What degree do I need for a career in medical devices?

In order to work as a sales representative for a medical devices company, you will most likely need a master’s degree in life sciences, pharmacy, medicine, biomedical engineering, or a related field.

If you’re interested in designing and developing medical devices for a living, you may benefit from undertaking a master’s degree in medical device design or another highly relevant subject.

Hyper Recruitment Solutions is proud to be a specialist in recruiting across the Medical Device industry. We employ recruitment experts across this field which include those who are educated in science and / or are members of key organisations such as the Royal Society of Chemistry.