Roadmap for medical device suppliers

What is GDSN?

GS1 provides a solution for sharing article data digitally: the international Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN), GS1's data exchange standard.
GS1 Data Source is a certified data pool in the Netherlands connected to GDSN. Suppliers can upload their product information to the GDSN network in this data pool, and healthcare organisations can download that product information.

How does it work?

As a supplier, you decide with whom you share data. At the click of a button, you can provide all your customers worldwide with article data. This includes, for example, product name, cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation data and information required for legislation. You decide which healthcare organisations should have access to which article data.
Healthcare organisations can then download the data into their systems.

How to go about?

1. Make someone responsible

A multidisciplinary team is often needed because different departments (and data sources) are needed for sharing data via GDSN. Make someone responsible and give them time and budget to set up the process.

2. Register with GS1

For suppliers based in the Netherlands: create an account in our customer portal MyGS1 and subscribe to GS1 Data Source (publish data). We will then contact you by phone and go through the step-by-step plan with you.

For suppliers based in other countries: contact the GS1 organisation in your country. If you prefer to join in the Netherlands, please contact GS1 Netherlands.

3. What data is involved?

In healthcare, we work with the ECHO data model. This overview states which data (fields) are requested, which data must be entered in which field and which fields are mandatory.

4. Collect the data

Explore in which departments, systems or documents the requested data are available. Most likely this is scattered throughout the organisation (and sounds easier than it is).

5. Decide which solution you will use

Decide how your company will submit data to GS1 Data Source/GDSN. Data entry can be done via your own application, an implementation partner's solution or via the GS1 web interface.

Try to automate as much as possible and do as little manually as possible to become more efficient and avoid errors.

Own application or implementation partner?

With your own application or an implementation partner's application, you supply the data via a Machine-2-Machine link. This can be done via XML or via an API. We recommend using the API. The advantages and possibilities are:

  • Easy to use, less complex message structure than XML
  • No additional costs
  • No AS2 or FTPS connection and software required
  • Possibility to create draft articles
  • Items can be published directly to customers
  • Deletion and withdrawal of publications
  • Retrieve, supplement and offer items again
  • Retrieval of the status of an article
  • Available 24/7

Using the GS1 web interface?

The web interface is the user environment of GS1 Data Source. Here you can enter data manually. To get you started, you can follow an instruction video.

6. Upload and share data with healthcare organisations

Start listing the data you have available and publish it to your customers. Start with a few products for testing. You will receive a message from the healthcare proivder whether the data has arrived. Want to know who you can publish data to? See which healthcare providers are connected.

7. Secure the quality of data in your organisation

Make sure the process for delivering and updating data is embedded in the organisation, because outdated and incorrect data can be disastrous.

The GS1 Data Care programme can help provide insight. This programme will become available in April 2024 for medical devices with risk class III. Other risk classes will follow later.