With about 55,000 distinct codes for injuries, illnesses, and causes of death, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) serves as the basis for detecting health trends and data on a global scale. It establishes a universal language for the exchange of health records among medical experts all over the world. The World Health Organization developed the ICD as a universal diagnostic tool to track the frequency and severity of various illnesses and health issues. Next to physicians, paramedics, insurance companies, researchers, and policymakers all make use of the ICD for many therapeutic purposes.

Purposes and uses

The International Classification of Diseases, Eleventh Revision (ICD-11) is a set of codes that includes descriptions of illnesses, symptoms, abnormal findings, contexts, and environmental factors that might cause harm or illness. To better understand what is ICD 11, it is important to mention that it serves as the gold standard for diagnostic categorization in both clinical and research settings. It provides a comprehensive and hierarchical listing of all known illnesses, disorders, injuries, and other associated health issues. This listing enables:

  • Streamlined health data storage, retrieval, and analysis
  • Streamlined health data sharing and comparison between hospitals from different and same countries.

Why is this a part of modern healthcare?

There is more to ICD coding than simply diagnosing. This frees up doctors’ time to focus on patient-specific data. Also, hospitals have access to this data to better understand readmissions, and they will not be able to avoid it. Healthcare payers can use readmission rates to track hospitals and penalize them if needed. Moreover, ICD claims contain a wealth of information. Managing data analytics requires a lot of time and money, but luckily, advancements in technology have made it available to medical experts.

What are the changes?

There has been a complete overhaul of the categorization system. More than a dozen dimensions are now a part of its database structure, which has many benefits, such as reduced cost, improved IT friendliness, and the ability to better assist data gathering on morbidity.

More diagnoses and conditions

The number of illnesses added to ICD-11 has increased dramatically, going from 14,000 to over 55,000 codes. As compared to ICD-10, this new listing has 26 chapters. Updated content includes topics such as immune system illnesses, sleep disorders, sexual health issues, etc. Parts of it are all new, while others have been expanded from earlier sections. For example, the sexual health chapter now includes more disorders that were categorized differently before. This implies that medical coders will need to be more careful to use the right codes.


There will be four characters before the decimal point in medical codes, as opposed to three in ICD-10, and up to three after the decimal point. The second slot is represented by a letter, while supplementary codes provide further detail to the basic code. Even though an unspecified code may still be necessary, the new ICD-11 categorization system enables medical practitioners to construct codes that may adequately specify the illnesses for which patients are receiving treatment. At the same time, diagnostic categories become more flexible thanks to the alphanumerical coding system. These codes are also revised to better reflect the most recent findings in the scientific literature and to meet the demands of clinical practice.

Market expansion

Every business needs to look at ways to expand its brand to different markets, especially if you are only starting. Since ICD coding is recognized around the whole world, understanding it will enable you to better understand the market and navigate it more easily. If you understand the coding, it will be easier for you to meet the coding requirements of other countries which can enable you to go in front of some of your competition. If you want to succeed in the medtech market, you always need to be ready to make the right move if you want to keep up. By knowing the ICD coding, you can make a better position for yourself and your business on the market.

It enables data analysis

If MedTech startups use this tool properly, they can analyze healthcare data, which can lead to some great advancements in the MedTech field as well as in the whole medical field. By using these codes, they can analyze what trends are occurring and they can work on solutions to mitigate different diseases or completely stop them. As a startup, it would be great that you are in front of your competition in any way possible. If you can make marketing strategies through analysis, or improve your product so that it is better than your competition’s, you have made leaps in the right direction. This could do wonders for your brand and increase your reputation.


Many countries require the equipment of a manufacturer to be labeled with the appropriate ICD coding; if that is not the case, then the equipment won’t get approved and then it cannot be used. By adhering to these standards, you ensure that you can sell your equipment on the market and survive.

Dimensional approach

Better at recording change over time, compatible with search results, and will aid recovery from illness, the ICD-11 is based on a dimensional approach, which is another major benefit, especially for MedTech startups. This can lessen artificial comorbidity, in which a patient is given many diagnoses when their symptoms are related to only one ailment. The new system has two more chapters and a fresh set of categories to support this dimensional approach.

International applicability

In addition to translations into 43 languages, the ICD-11 provides instructions for using it with diverse cultures. The updated system offers a uniform coding language for academics and healthcare practitioners all over the world. This makes it easy for everyone, from seasoned experts to MedTech startups, to compare and use valuable information to improve their practice.

The ICD coding system is important for everything related to medicine, including the medtech industry. These codes were invented so that everyone can be on one page when it comes to classifying diseases, so if companies want to make it easier for everyone and adhere to regulations, they need to know them and use them properly.

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