Technology as an aid to medical care productivity cannot be treated as an isolated phenomenon, apart from its effect on all phases of our society. Thus, the major impact of technology on the health care system has not come from modifications in medical care activities, per se, but rather from the urbanization and industrialization of America, each a result of technological innovations. For example, changes in society's travel and communication habits have placed greater emphasis on central facilities and efforts to coordinate health care delivery. Major referral centers are clearly a product of the revolution in transportation and communication.
In the near future, however, technology should begin to be a truly integral part of clinical practice, and its impact probably will be at least as significant as that of the highway and telephone. In this discussion we would like to suggest that radical changes in the use of health manpower