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This paper, an introduction to this issue devoted to technology and health services, points out that health systems represent a major electronic market and fertile ground for electrical engineering research and development. After a brief description of the current status of health care in the United States, the author discusses the ways in which technology can contribute to the health care system. These contributions are divided into four categories: expansion of the population served, improvement of medical instrumentation, control of the costs of health care, and development of specific health care system components. The coverage of a number of the other papers in this issue is described briefly.