The Appropriateness of Medical Devices Is Strongly Influenced by Sex and Gender

Farmaci e genere

Until now, research has been performed mainly in men, with a low recruitment of women; consequentially, biological, physiological, and physio-pathological mechanisms are less understood in women. Obviously, without data obtained on women, it is impossible to apply the results of research appropriately to women. 
This issue also applies to medical devices (MDs), and numerous problems linked to scarce pre-market research and clinical trials on MDs were evidenced after their introduction to the market. Globally, some MDs are less efficient in women than in men and sometimes MDs are less safe for women than men, although recently there has been a small but significant decrease in the sex and gender gap. 

As an example, cardiac resynchronization defibrillators seem to produce more beneficial effects in women than in men. It is also important to remember that MDs can impact the health of healthcare providers and this could occur in a sex- and gender-dependent manner. Recently, MDs’ complexity is rising, and to ensure their appropriate use they must have a sex–gender-sensitive approach. 

Unfortunately, the majority of physicians, healthcare providers, and developers of MDs still believe that the human population is only constituted by men. 
Therefore, to overcome the gender gap, a real collaboration between the inventors of MDs, health researchers, and health providers should be established to test MDs in female and male tissues, animals, and women.