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Guidance on Medical Devices

A piece of equipment is defined as a medical device by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) if it is: 

“Any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software necessary for its proper application intended by the manufacturer to be used for human beings for the purpose of:

  • diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease,
  • diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of or compensation for an injury or handicap,
  • investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process,
  • control of conception, and which does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but which may be assisted in its function by such means.” 

Useful Links:

  • The MHRA guidance for medical devices can be found here.
  • The HRA have launched a series of eLearning modules including the regulations and considerations for clinical investigations of medical devices
  • The MHRA have also published information on when software applications are considered to be a medical device and how they are regulated. This will be useful to you or your research group if you are working on a software application that is likely to be used as a medical device. 

Please note that if you are undertaking a study that uses a non-CE marked device, you may need approval from the Head of Clinical Engineering.

The Clinical Trials team is drafting a number of new SOPs for medical devices that should be available in the next couple of months. These include:

- Good Documentation Practice

- Quality Control

- Hosting Regulatory Inspections

- Medical Device Risk Assessment

- Non-Conformance, Root Cause Analysis, and CAPA

The Medical Device Summer Compliance Survey is also now live for 2022. 

If you intend to undertake any research within the university which may involve the use of equipment which may be a medical device, or is a known medical device but will be used outside of its intended purpose and be tested on human participants, then please contact at the earliest opportunity:


Dr Mohammed Zubair - Research Governance, Ethics, and Integrity Manager 
Directorate of Research and Business Engagement 
Christie Building
The University of Manchester
Manchester, M13 9PL

Email: (
Tel: 0161 275 2725 / 0161 275 2167