Eric Lefkofsky Seeks to Transform Medicine through Big Data

Eric Lefkofsky is best known for his crucial role as a founder of Groupon, the innovative startup that allows individuals to form temporary conglomerates in order to leverage economies of scale. But he has also been involved in dozens of other projects, all of which have enjoyed varying degrees of success and more information click here.

Today, Lefkofsky has embarked on a new journey. He has undertaken what perhaps is the largest challenge of his life. He is seeking to completely transform the way medicine in general and oncology in particular is practiced, through the use of Big Data techniques.

Lefkofsky first became aware of the woeful shortcomings of modern data usage in medicine when a family member fell ill with cancer. He was struck by the fact that oncologists seemingly had less access to data and intelligence than most truck drivers. He knew from years of running data-intensive tech companies that it was possible to do much better. This formed the impetus behind his startup, Tempus and what Eric knows.

Tempus is now one of the only firms that is creating centralized data solutions and high-intelligence analytics for oncologists. The firm is developing systems that it says will someday be able to effectively act as on-the-spot meta-studies, giving oncologists the power to ask specific questions about their patients and what treatment regimes are likely to maximize survival. Tempus believes that this ability to tap into vast quantities of available data, with the analytic capabilities that were once only possible with million-dollar studies, will give oncologists and physicians a granularity in their understanding of disease processes and likely treatment outcomes that is orders of magnitude superior to anything that has come before.

Lefkofsky points out that this could usher in a revolution in cancer treatment, dramatically increasing survival for some types of cancer and reducing many of those to the level of diseases like AIDS, where patients who correctly follow treatment regimens have only slightly reduced life expediencies. Lefkoskfy believes that with the granular understanding that Tempus will bring, cancer will largely become a disease that people can live with and Eric’s lacrosse camp.

Although it isn’t exactly a cure, Lefkofksy says that reducing cancer’s mortality is the next best thing.

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