The overall impact of globalization on health outcomes is contentious, but there is no doubt that knowledge transfer and the extension of specific health interventions to developing countries promise extraordinary benefits. It has been suggested that improved information/communications technology and the creation of distributed hospital systems leading a virtual healthcare web will permit realization of the promise of globalization. It is argued in this commentary that such evolution will require a new model of shared governance in the healthcare system. The leading vision is most likely to come from academic institutions, researchers, health professionals and governments. The "super-hospital" of the future should be expected to play a key role as service provider and partner.