On Thursday, April 11, ECRI Institute will open the ECRI International Research Centre in Selangor, Malaysia—its first independent medical device evaluation laboratory outside the United States. The ECRI International Research Centre—which will evaluate medical devices used across all care settings in Europe and Asia—will conduct hands-on testing and evaluation to help medical professionals make informed decisions that improve patient safety, ECRI officials say.

“This research will help us better understand the safety and effectiveness of medical devices used around the world,” says Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO, ECRI Institute. “That’s important to our international members, as well as to foreign ministries of health.”

Devices used internationally will be evaluated in Malaysia with the same independent, rigorous protocols ECRI Institute has upheld for more than 50 years, ECRI officials say. Further, ECRI Institute’s team trained Malaysian engineers to ensure accuracy, consistency, and quality control.

The international evaluation program will assess performance, workflow, maintenance, safety, and human factors usability for all technologies under review. The first devices to be evaluated include large-volume infusion pumps, surgical lights, point-of-care blood gas analyzers, portable ultrasound machines, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) units, and digital radiography systems.

“The establishment of this research facility opens up many possibilities for the future,” says Eric Woo, regional director of ECRI Institute’s Asia-Pacific office, “including possible collaborations with government regulators. Other plans include using the lab for training programs and for accident investigations involving medical devices.

ECRI Institute established its Asia-Pacific office more than 20 years ago to support healthcare technology decision making and patient safety throughout the region.