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Until recently, technological advances in general practice have generally been thought of as the applications of microcomputers in practice organization and record keeping. Advances in miniaturization and versatility of diagnostic technology will have a similarly large impact on the way general practitioners practice medicine in the next decade. This article reviews some of the newer tests that are already available to general practitioners, particularly in diagnostic biochemistry and microbiology. Preliminary evaluative work and research studies in general practice are also described.