When Eric Lefkofsky, cofounder of Groupon, realized his wife had breast cancer, he wanted information. What treatments were available? Which ones were most likely to help his wife? But it didn’t take him long to realize that the healthcare industry suffered from a severe lack of data access. It was then he decided to launch Tempus, a Chicago-based startup that has greatly enhanced personalized cancer treatment and precision medicine..
Just as he did with Groupon, Lefkofsky wanted to bridge the gap between healthcare data and those who need it in other words Data-Driven Precision Medicine. And he also wanted to make that information available at the point of care when healthcare decisions were being made. With Tempus, he has succeeded in doing just that. As the owner of the largest clinical and molecular data library, Tempus can make a tremendous impact on cancer management.
Wrangling Healthcare Data
At its core, Tempus is a healthcare data analytics company. Tempus has partnered with numerous healthcare organizations to collect and pipeline clinical and molecular data to healthcare providers. These organizations include the American Society of Clinical Oncologists and 50 cancer centers with the National Institute of Health. Likewise, it involves over 250 academic and private hospital systems. This provides Tempus significant amounts of data with which to work in the pursuit of personalized medicine.
Healthcare data gathered from these partners is then processed through Tempus’ machine learning platform. Genetic information obtained from patients’ tumors, blood and saliva specimens are entered into Tempus’s system. In addition, clinical data from numerous records are also entered. This includes over 2 million electronic health records of cancer patients. The platform then crunches the data to help determine trends, patterns, and best practices to enhance personalized cancer treatment.
“When you look at what’s happening to (patients) at a clinical level — what drugs they’re taking, what disease do they have … are they progressing or not progressing — when you combine that with what’s happening at a molecular level, you get this amazing library of data, where you can start to see these patterns emerge.” – Eric Lefkofsky
Personalized Cancer Treatment via Tempus Technologies
Tempus now has an array of products that enhance personalized medicine services to cancer patients. Recently, Tempus launched “Tempus Labs,” which is a mobile app that physicians can use at the point of care. A physician can submit genetic and clinical healthcare data using various screening protocols to aid in personalized medicine care. In doing so, Tempus offers insights about which treatment might be the best for an individual patient. As a result, the odds of a better patient outcome are significantly improved.
A big reason Tempus is gaining momentum in the personalized medicine sector involving cancer care is simply volume. In performing genomic sequencing of tumors, Tempus estimates that a quarter of all cancer patients now reach Tempus’ platform. And the more data fed into Tempus’s platform, the more advanced personalized cancer treatment care can become. Providing such a tool for physicians at the point of care could greatly improve cancer management.
Tempus and Personalized Medicine – An Industry About to Boom
The growth of personalized medicine is expected to advance significantly in the next several years. In fact, the cancer and tumor profiling industry alone is expected to exceed $60 billion within five years. Tempus realizes this, but at the same time, it also appreciates the broader impact that could be made in other areas. Having now obtained over $320 million in funding, Tempus plans to explore data analytics in cardiovascular and neurologic disorders. Scaling their current services to these healthcare areas could really put Tempus on the map.
At present, Tempus is valued at over $2 billion based on its latest Series E funding. In part, this is because numerous stakeholders have an interest in Tempus’ services. For example, drug companies, researchers, and hospital systems could all benefit from Tempus’ machine learning platform insights. With Tempus’s help, it appears personalized medicine has truly arrived in cancer management.