The 'Health for All by 2000' campaign included promotion of technologies that were known to be effective and inexpensive. The selected technologies were largely a failure. Among other problems, water pumps broke and could not be repaired in remote areas and latrines became disease concentration points when they were not properly maintained. These same problems plague more sophisticated healthcare technology. It is not sufficient for a technology to be known, effective and inexpensive for it to help the people of the developing world. There are additional obstacles. This article reviews the data, suggesting what additional obstacles exist to the successful implementation of healthcare technologies for the developing world with a particular emphasis on physiological measurements such as clinical laboratory and diagnostic medicine.