Many subscriber patients are served by this system. In each patient's home is an apparatus that includes special furniture on which the patient lies and sits, and embedded in which are devices that automatically sense multiple parameters related to the patient's health. The patient cooperates only passively. The parameters are so chosen--and are sufficiently numerous and accurate--as to provide in the aggregate a comprehensive profile of the patient's general state of health. The apparatus also generates electronic health-parameter signals related to the sensed parameters, and it transmits these signals from the patient's home to a central surveillance and control office. Equipment there receives the signals, displays corresponding indicia of the parameters, and transmits control signals back to the patient's apparatus. Two-way voice communication between the patient and a highly trained observer at the central office supplements the electronic measurements. The observer conducts routine diagnostic sessions except when an emergency is noted from these sessions or from a patient-initiated communication. The observer determines whether a nonroutine therapeutic response is required, and if so facilitates such a response. Selection among emergency cases follows a highly refined emergency-priority hierarchy.