Middle Bit: IDx’s AI diagnostics system launches in Retail Clinics

‍Patients of CarePortMD retail health clinics at Albertsons grocery stores now have access to IDx’s autonomous AI diagnostic system, IDx-DR.

This makes CarePortMD the first retail health clinic to adopt this type of AI diagnostic technology. Albertsons, the nation’s second largest grocery chain, added five CarePortMD clinics to stores in Delaware and Pennsylvania this past year.

IDx-DR uses AI to identify patients with diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, common complications of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. CarePortMD captures and transmits patient vitals, IDx-DR exam results, and other important health information to the patient’s doctor.

“Our goal is to ensure all patients with diabetes have access to the diabetic retinopathy exam so that we can improve patient outcomes,” said Michael Abramoff, founder and CEO of IDx. “More patients are getting their healthcare in retail clinics, so there is value in exploring the space. We were attracted to CarePortMD’s care coordination model; it’s critical that results make it back to the patient’s medical home and are triaged appropriately. This is a great opportunity to do AI the right way together.”


Urbandale-based Per Mar Security Services announced last week the acquisition of Lincoln, Nebraska-based NECO Security.

NECO Security Project Manager Bill Thomas, along with the company’s five technicians, will be joining Midwest Alarm Services. They will be serving customers out of the Per Mar and Midwest Alarm Services local office in Lincoln.

“We are excited to have NECO Security join our organization,” says Doug Richard, president of Midwest Alarm Services. “NECO and Midwest Alarm Services were two of the original Notifier dealers in the U.S. The NECO team will be a great cultural fit as they have been working together for decades and have a customer first mentality. We are looking forward to working with them to continue to deliver the best service in the industry.”

Established in 1953, Per Mar Security Services is the largest, family-owned, full-service security company in the Midwest with more than 2,400 employees, operating in 23 branch locations and 17 satellite locations.

National Academy of Inventors recognizes two ISU researchers

The National Academy of Inventors is adding Iowa State University’s Balaji Narasimhan and Guru Rao to its roster of academy fellows.

The academy announced today it is recognizing Narasimhan and Rao for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

The academy’s announcement specifically cited Narasimhan’s work in nanomedicines and biomedical engineering.

The latest projects in his lab include studies of a universal nanovaccine for flu, an immunotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer, a new nanovaccine for respiratory syncytial virus and a nanomedicine-based methods to overcome antimicrobial resistance by some pathogens and nanovaccines to treat older adults.

Rao was cited for his work in biochemistry.

Rao’s work has been all about engineering proteins for the nutritional enhancement of crops such as corn and soybeans and designing proteins for resistance to insects and fungal pathogens. The former chair of Iowa State’s Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Rao has 28 patents from 1995 to 2017.

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