A prototype anesthesia delivery system has been developed to test the appropriateness of new technological design approaches. The objectives were to eliminate human-factors problems associated with present anesthesia apparatus and to lay a suitable technical foundation for the development of new techniques in anesthesia management. This prototype performs all the functions of a conventional anesthesia machine, as well as many monitoring and surveillance tasks. Eventual incorporation of new teaching functions, and additional monitoring and record-keeping activities, are intended. The system is fundamentally electronic with few moving parts. Reliability, safety, and clarity of operation were the primary criteria in selection and application of the specific technologies employed. The result is a promising first step in the development of a system oriented toward supporting rather than preoccupying the anesthetist.