PROGRAMMES AND TECHNIQUES FOR HUMAN HEALTH:NUCLEAR APPLICATIONS IN HEALTH CARE;I LASTING BENEFITS. Nuclear applications in health care have a time-honoured record of being highly costeffectivein addressing important health problems such as malnutrition, cancer, infectious, andcirculatory diseases. Today they are providing lasting benefits for patients, physicians, medicalresearchers, and health care practitioners throughout the world.Many nuclear applications have become so well-established and documented thatthey are preferred to other methods. This is because they frequently provide unique medicalinformation, or are among the least expensive approaches to a problem.Some applications -originally introduced as nuclear techniques -have developed intoapplications that have no "nuclear" component as such. (For example, many routineradioimmunoassays, ar RIAs, have later developed into en~me-linked immunoassay, or ELISAmethods). This development often occurred for reasons of high-speed automation and/orsimplicity. At the same time, however, robustness and precision often were sacrificed.Nuclear applications in health care can be roughly divided into diagnostic,therapeutic, and preventive applications. This article describes a series of successful and wellestablished applications in view of new directions that are emerging. Steffen Groth