The health care system in Northern Ireland is unsustainable without real change, a senior NHS official said.
Rising demand for services and increasing cost can only be tackled through making better use of technology and care at home, a conference on innovation in Belfast heard.
Colm McKenna, chairman of the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Services (Nicon), said: "Health and Social care is facing an unprecedented time of change. The only choice we have is to embrace change, or resist and deal with failure.
"We will need visionary political leadership, strong management and the support of the public to deliver good care into the future – the existing system is not sustainable."
Mr McKenna addressed an audience of 350 leaders from health and social care, politicians, patient groups and businesses.
Mr McKenna is chief executive of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust which runs services including the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.