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The management of chronic health care conditions already consumes more than half of all health care expenditure in developed countries. The author describes the investigations made by the Eurodiabeta Consortium with regard to diabetes, a life-long condition affecting more than 2% of the population. Partly funded by the European Community's Advanced Informatics in Medicine (AIM) framework programme, the Eurodiabeta Consortium comprised 16 complementary clinical, medical informatics and industrial partners, drawn from seven countries. Progress is reviewed and the opportunities and challenges ahead are explored. Other aspects covered are the Consortium's approach to the sensitive and crucial consideration of medical quality assurance, experience working with the European Commission, and the non-technological factors-social, economic and political-which must be addressed in the runup to bringing Eurodiabeta-type products into the market place.