People are now able to apply for a medical card, and check their availability, online.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is launching its new National Medical Card Online service.
This enables people to apply online for a medical card for the first time.
The HSE says almost 440,000 applications were received by the National Medical Card Unit in 2017 - so it hopes this new service will bring benefits in terms of turnaround times, convenience and security.
Users can also find out if they are eligible for a medical card immediately.
If they are eligible, the HSE says their application will be processed in 15 working days.
The online service also allows applicants to scan and upload documents and other information - no longer requiring GP-stamped paper forms.
Speaking at the launch, Health Minister Simon Harris said: "This is a very welcome new development by the HSE and is part of the ongoing streamlining and modernisation of the operation of the medical card scheme.
"This puts the applicant at the centre of the process and I am sure will, in time, become the preferred method of application for many applicants, both first time and those seeking a renewal.
"I would urge anyone who needs to apply for a medical card to log on to the new system and see how easy it is."
The new service is available to people aged 16 years and older.