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GMDN Agency appoints Kelso Consulting

By Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

The GMDN Agency, based in Oxfordshire's fast-growing science cluster around Milton Park, has appointed Kelso Consulting as the first public relations agency in its 20-year history.

The Agency is a not-for-profit body that oversees the Global Medical Device Nomenclature, the naming convention for the millions of medical devices used in hospitals and elsewhere around the world.

Its scope ranges from basic items such as bed screens and scalpels, right through to highly sophisticated devices such as implants, and machines such as scanners and air ambulances.

The nomenclature is continually evolving to reflect advances in medical technology innovation as well as medical regulators’ requirements.

Mark Wasmuth, the CEO of the GMDNA, said: “The GMDN fulfils the vital need for medical devices to have a common name where they have the same function, which is something barcodes cannot do.

“For instance, one manufacturer describes its carotid artery stent {a tube for inserting into a narrowed artery} as a “Closed Cell Self-Expanding Stent”, another calls their version of the same device a “Carotid Stent System” and a third terms it a “Nitinol Stent System”.

“This is confusing enough if English is your first language, and you can imagine how confusing and potentially dangerous it is in multiple languages without the GMDN providing a common and specific naming convention.

“Common and clear naming is particularly important in a global marketplace where providers, users and regulators want to compare devices from different manufacturers and know if they perform similar or different functions.”

Public Relations and the GMDN Agency's stakeholders

The GMDN Agency is working with Kelso Consulting because of its desire to better communicate important changes and achievements of the Agency, many of which were not widely appreciated by its members and stakeholders.

Mark explains: “The Agency’s team has always have been very active as attendees and speakers at medical device industry conferences, but we've had few dealings with the media. Our board was keen to start raising the media profile of the Agency and the GMDN following a lot of important work internally, so we are now working with Kelso Consulting to highlight the benefits from these changes and also, implicitly, address some lingering misconceptions."

Using LinkedIn as well as the media to reach stakeholders

“In addition to helping us raise our profile with the international medical device and other important media, Kelso quickly identified that our presence on LinkedIn was not creating a great impression of us as a modern and effective agency. They also highlighted that, given our strong industry networks, LinkedIn was a very powerful tool for us to use proactively.

“Their help with using LinkedIn more purposefully has been very useful. This has included practical demonstrations and practical tips to help us use it with the minimum of effort.

"For instance, coming up with ideas for regular posts on LinkedIn was an issue for us. Kelso pointed out that we regularly travel around the world to medical industry events.

"By doing at least three posts for each event – one before on what we’re looking to achieve there, one at the event, and one after on key points from it - this by itself provides a strong flow of topical posts, with little effort, that demonstrate our work around the world.”

Kelso Consulting director Tim Prizeman said: "The GMDN Agency plays a really important behind-the-scenes role that ultimately helps hospitals understand where devices from differing manufacturers have the same function. This helps them get the best price, avoid duplication and ultimately ensure the right device is available for use in treatment.

"As with many organisations, it is doing great work in a technical area. Communicating this is now a priority and we are helping ensure that the extensive and important work of the Agency now gets the attention it deserves."


Topics: Public Relations, LinkedIn, PR, PR Appointments, Thames Valley, Oxfordshire

Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Written by Tim Prizeman, Director - Kelso Consulting (Public Relations agency)

Director of Public Relations agency Kelso Consulting. We specialise in working with B2B tech companies, management consultants, financial and professional firms to help them build business-winning reputations. We do this through award-winning PR skills and a proven approach to creating high-impact thought leadership campaigns. I am the author of The Thought Leadership Manual: