After having a loved one go through cancer treatment the tech entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky saw that the industry is not nearly as technologically advanced as he thought it was. Many people would be successfully treated through far better data collection processes in place, he says, that is presented in a way that doctors can make effective use of it. After spotting this need he co-founded Tempus to solve this problem.

A lot of data is generated when doctors treat a cancer patient but there was no central repository of this information. Collecting all of this in a database would help doctors use the best treatment for each patient based on evidence-based data, he says. One difficulty that Eric Lefkofsky says that exists in the industry is that a lot of this information is on physician notes which can be difficult to get computerized since they’re basically free text field. In order to solve this problem, the team at Tempus uses natural language processing technology as well as software that can read these notes through optical character recognition.

One of the most important things Tempus is collecting is genomic information. This information can help doctors treat patients on the DNA level where they spot errors in their genome which is their cancer. Not long ago this a lot of money but it’s now down to $5000 a patient and dropping.

Eric Lefkofsky has been involved in the creation of several companies in the technology industry. The biggest of these was Groupon for which he was also the chief executive officer for about two years. He is still the chairman of the board for this company, though. He has also built other companies like Echo Global Logistics and InnerWorkings among others.

As a philanthropist, Eric Lefkofsky serves Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago by being on their board of directors. He and his wife, Elizabeth, operate a charitable foundation called the Lefkofsky Foundation. They mostly donate money to causes for children such as education. Other big causes for them are scientific in nature, with the focus being on helping children.

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