Medical device procurement in low- and middle-income settings: protocol for a systematic review

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Medical device procurement processes for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are a poorly understood and researched topic. To support LMIC policy formulation in this area, international public health organizations and research institutions issue a large body of predominantly grey literature including guidelines, manuals and recommendations. We propose to undertake a systematic review to identify and explore the medical device procurement methodologies suggested within this and further literature. Procurement facilitators and barriers will be identified, and methodologies for medical device prioritization under resource constraints will be discussed.

Searches of both bibliographic and grey literature will be conducted to identify documents relating to the procurement of medical devices in LMICs. Data will be extracted according to protocol on a number of pre-specified issues and variables. First, data relating to the specific settings described within the literature will be noted. Second, information relating to medical device procurement methodologies will be extracted, including prioritization of procurement under resource constraints, the use of evidence (e.g. cost-effectiveness evaluations, burden of disease data) as well as stakeholders participating in procurement processes. Information relating to prioritization methodologies will be extracted in the form of quotes or keywords, and analysis will include qualitative meta-summary. Narrative synthesis will be employed to analyse data otherwise extracted. The PRISMA guidelines for reporting will be followed.

The current review will identify recommended medical device procurement methodologies for LMICs. Prioritization methods for medical device acquisition will be explored. Relevant stakeholders, facilitators and barriers will be discussed. The review is aimed at both LMIC decision makers and the international research community and hopes to offer a first holistic conceptualization of this topic.


Original languageEnglish
Article number118
JournalSystematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2014


  • Developing countries, Prioritization, Procurement, Medical devices