In 2014, approximately 14.5 million people in the US living with cancer and that number is predicted to reach around 19 million by 2024. While cancer is something we would prefer not to think about, approximately 40 percent of adults in the United States will receive a diagnosis. Eric Lefkofsky is looking to change how we view and treat cancer and other diseases with his technology driven company Tempus. Tempus looks to revolutionize the healthcare industry to making the piles of data related to healthcare not only accessible but understandable.
While the healthcare industry may appear to be ahead of the times when it comes to technology and data, that is woefully untrue. Eric Lefkofsky quickly learned this after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He realized despite all the tests and information collected about her condition, the information was ineffectively stored even with the aid of electronic health records and this needed to be changed.
Tempus views its product as an operating system for cancer treatment, not only collecting the traditional data in an easier to understand manner but also pushing for less commonly collected information to be utilized and stored such as genetic sequencing. By accessing an individual patient’s genome, doctors can essentially have instructions as to what treatments could work best for their particular disease and also what risks this patient could be facing in the future according to their own DNA.
Before focusing on the healthcare industry, Eric Lefkofsky was already a juggernaut in the field of technology. He left his position of CEO at Groupon to focus on his passion project Tempus. Along with Groupon, he also co-founded the company Lightbank, a technology investor based out of Chicago instead of Silicon Valley that focuses on “disruptive” companies and technologies that change the business dynamic of previously existing industries.
Along with his entrepreneurial skills, Lefkofsky and his wife are dedicated philanthropists. The two are so dedicated that in 2013 they pledged to donate at least half of their accumulated wealth in their lifetimes. The pair have already donated millions to the advancement of cancer treatment.