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Throughout the history of science, technological innovation has facilitated improved understanding of our human nature and characteristics and our complex relationships with our environment. In medical history, such innovations have allowed a more accurate and nuanced ability to intervene in promoting health and preventing and treating disease and disorder. Of course, the ability to correctly apprehend the meaning of the observations that are available to us through innovative breakthroughs is dependent on the conceptual adequacy of our endeavor. This conceptual adequacy has shown evolutionary progress and broadening, partially achieving the goal of consilience, articulated by the evolutionary biologist EO Wilson (1). The aim of this paper is to explore this expanding base and then describe an exemplar of our greater ability to understand and intervene in pursuit of global health. The scope of inquiry ranges from individual remotely obtained data to global health evaluation by advanced computational methods, with the objective of clarifying the conceptual, methodological and operational aspects of such a systemic approach.
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