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Large-scale distributed systems, such as e-healthcare systems, are difficult to develop due to their complex and decentralized nature. The service oriented architecture facilitates the development of such systems by supporting modular design, application integration and interoperation, and software reuse. With open standards, such as XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, the service oriented architecture supports interoperability between services operating on different platforms and between applications implemented in different programming languages. In this paper we describe a distributed e-healthcare system that uses the service oriented architecture as a basis for designing, implementing, deploying, invoking and managing healthcare services. The e-healthcare system that we have developed provides support for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, as well as for patients and medical devices used to monitor patients. Multi-media input and output, with text, images and speech, make the system more user friendly than existing e-healthcare systems.