ERIC LEFKOFSKY’S USE OF PRECISION MEDICINE TO CONQUER DISEASES.
For some time now, the healthcare system has been distressed by diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. Understanding the algorithmic patterns of diseases genetically by use of artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning will contribute to better care for patients and result in their cure. Eric Lefkofsky is dealing with the computational problem at Tempus Labs, a technology firm based in Chicago that he co-founded in 2015. The firm aims to collect health information of cancer patients, organize and digitize it allowing physicians to access the data, learn from it and use the information in treating future patients. In ushering Precision Medicine, Tempus Labs has data pipelines that collect, clean and study clinical and molecular data that is added using sequencing DNA/RNA. Each patient’s data is stored in one place to enable physicians to make treatment decisions based on the data at that time. Having data from various patients helps learn more about their treatments and response and thus will help make better decisions on how to treat patients who come next. This has been in place as Tempus has partnered with healthcare organizations, academic institutions and most cancer centers where patients are sent for genomic sequencing at Tempus. A report of their molecular clinical information is then generated and sent back to their oncologists, and the doctors use the treatment options for specific mutations that have worked in the past to treat their patients.
Alzheimer’s disease has currently been diagnosed as a result of memory loss or other dementia symptoms. The government in conjunction with the scientific community has however suggested a new way to identify the disease. This would be based on determining biological signs like brain changes thus enabling earlier detection of the disease as most patients are often diagnosed very late. With the current means of identifying the condition, 30% of the patients are not even suffering from Alzheimer’s. They have been misdiagnosed making it hard to base the foundation for treating the disease on this accurately. The new way will select patients based on brain scans and other tests. This will help identify patients in the pre-symptomatic stage and see if early treatment can help do away with the disease.
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