Eric Lefkofsky’s Latest Project, Tempus, Innovating Cancer Care
The type of technological creativity that has drastically changed our daily lives in recent decades is now being used to personalize cancer treatment. A new company called Tempus, created by Groupon founder Eric Lefkofsky, is helping healthcare institutions collect and organize data on cancer patients. The intention is to create a database of patient history, treatment process, and outcomes, something that until now has only existed in isolated pockets and was mostly inaccessible to physicians during patient care. Analysis of this data should help predict patterns in patient response to treatment. Doctors can use this information in real time while planning treatment options.
At the University of Chicago, one of several major hospitals involved, 1000 breast cancer patients are currently being studied. Although breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers, data on past cases has not been compiled in a meaningful way to help inform current treatment options. Tempus is collecting information from these patients and helping to organize it into a useful predictive database. Doctors at the University of Chicago say they are excited to be part of this innovative effort.Based out of Chicago, Tempus was unveiled in 2016.
It was established by Erik Lefkofsky, founder of Groupon and head of many other successful businesses including Lightbank, Uptake Technologies, and Mediaocean. He created the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, a private charitable organization, and serves on the board of several organizations in Chicago.Lefkofsky has pointed to the lack of communication between institutions and the lag of technological advancement in medical facilities as culprits in the lack of a database for cancer care. He commends Obama’s prioritization of cancer research as a positive step. He encourages people in the field to work together toward creating an “Operating System for cancer” that overcomes past barriers.