We are all perplexed that current medical practice often appears maladroit in curing our individual illnesses or disease. However, as is often the case, a lack of understanding, tools and technologies are the root cause of such situations. Human individuality is an often-quoted term but, in the context of human biology, it is poorly understood. This is compounded when there is a need to consider the variability of human populations. In the case of the former, it is possible to quantify human complexity as determined by the 35,000 genes of the human genome, the 1-10 million proteins (including antibodies) and the 2000-3000 metabolites of the human metabolome. Human variability is much more difficult to assess, since many of the variables, such as the definition of race, are not even clearly agreed on. In order to accommodate human complexity, variability and its influence on health and disease, it is necessary to undertake a systematic approach. In the past decade, the emergence of analytical platforms and bioinformatics tools has led to the development of systems biology. Such an approach offers enormous potential in defining key pathways and networks involved in optimal human health, as well as disease onset, progression and treatment. The tools and technologies now available in systems biology analyses offer exciting opportunities to exploit the emerging areas of personalized medicine. In this article, we discuss the current status of human complexity, and how systems biology and personalized medicine can impact at the individual and population level.