What is the Global Data Synchronization Network?
The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the electronic information highway that connects medical device manufacturers, distributors and hospital networks. It is a vital communication network designed to enable trading partners throughout the healthcare industry to exchange product data for commercial purposes. Inaccurate or outdated medical device product information makes it impossible for supply chain procurement to function smoothly and, more importantly, for patient safety to be ensured.
The problem is that it can be very complex and costly for industry participants to ramp up an entire data management framework for GDSN. This is especially challenging in light of the fact that these same companies have already been required to make substantial investments to comply with regulatory agencies worldwide (e.g., the Food and Drug Administration) that have mandated the use of the Unique Device Identification (UDI) standard. UDI is now the common system for medical device product identification in the U.S. and other major regulatory bodies around the world.
How do UDI and GDSN differ?
It’s important to understand that, while these two standards support the same industry, they serve different practical functions:
UDI is designed to mark and identify medical devices within the healthcare supply chain for regulatory purposes. Its data elements are linked to the Global UDI Database (GUDID), the FDA’s repository of device UDI information, and do not contain the production identifiers, such as the manufacturing date, expiration date, batch/lot number or serial number.
GDSN is designed to enable trading partners throughout the healthcare industry to exchange product data for commercial purposes. Its attributes are mapped to each UDID element, driven by GS1 standards.
These simultaneous data management compliance obligations have led many medical device companies to identify the need for a way to share UDI data with a GDSN-certified data pool. The goal would be to enable them to ensure the data submitted to regulatory agencies (i.e., the UDI standard) would be made available at the same time to their commercial trading partners (i.e., the GDSN), with minimal additional scrubbing required.
How can Reed Tech help?
Reed Tech has stepped into this gap by developing a full-service solution that allows medical device companies to share product data with their trading partners through the GDSN. This solution, made possible through a unique collaboration with 1WorldSync, allows device manufacturers to repurpose and combine their UDI data to fulfill their GDSN compliance requirements at the same time.
Through the integration of data exchange capabilities from 1WorldSync with Reed Tech product data management solutions, manufacturers are able to obtain a single, full-service approach to all of their medical device data management needs.
The GDSN serves as a vital role in facilitating commerce between medical device manufacturers, distributors and hospitals — but it’s not exactly a piece of cake for industry participants to get up and running on the network. That is why it is so crucial to find efficiencies anywhere we can in the industry. The emergence of new data management solutions such as the Reed Tech/1WorldSync offering may finally make this goal attainable.
Questions about how to put your UDI data to practical use and how to get started with product data syndication? Reed Tech is a leading expert in managing medical device product data and downstream syndication. We are here to help. Contact us at [email protected]