The design history file is an FDA term which you’ll find described in 21 CFR Part 820.30. It talks about your design controls and how they must be kept in a design history file. Design History File (DHF) is simply the collection of documents from the design and development process.
Here’s how the FDA describe it in 21 CFR Part 820.30(j):
“Each manufacturer shall establish and maintain a DHF for each type of device. The DHF shall contain or reference the records necessary to demonstrate that the design was developed in accordance with the approved design plans and the requirements of this part.”
Until recently, a DHF was technically only a requirement defined by FDA. ISO 13485:2003 made no direct mentioned of a DHF, or something similar. However, the updated ISO 13485:2016 does now specify the need to establish “design and development files”.