Computational Bridges over the Chasms between Science, Medicine and Health
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Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be marvelous.” So why hasn’t the torrent of molecular data produced by systems biology, the clearinghouses of computerized clinical records, and the explosion of health information available on the internet turned out to be so wonderful? The problem isn’t finding relevant information so much as making sense of all of it. While computers have demonstrated power for searching, merging and transforming enormous datasets, computational support for developing good explanations or generating significant hypotheses about that data have, to date, been more modest. However, the transition of scientific publication into the digital era, the somewhat slower computerization of clinical information systems, and promising developments in artificial intelligence are converging to give hope that computational tools may soon help scientists, clinicians and patients better understand more of the factors that determine human health.