WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24, 2018  |  IN THIS ISSUE  
 
The Topcon NW400 robotic fundus camera. CREDIT TOPCON 
IDx, the Coralville company behind the first and only FDA-cleared autonomous AI diagnostic system, has announced a new agreement with Topcon, a leading ophthalmic device manufacturer, to scale delivery of AI diagnostic solutions in the U.S. market.
 
The agreement grants exclusive rights to IDx in the U.S. as the only autonomous AI company permitted to sell its products with the Topcon NW400, an easy to use, robotic fundus camera - essentially a low-power microscope with an attached camera. The fundus is the interior lining of the eyeball.  
 
In turn, IDx has agreed to assign Topcon's NW400 as the only robotic desktop fundus camera with less than a 55-degree field of view to be integrated with IDx-DR, its autonomous system that allows health care providers to detect diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that causes blindness in about 30,000 Americans a year.
 
"Topcon is truly the innovative market leader in developing highly automated, consistent and easy to use retinal imaging systems," IDx President Dr. Michael Abramoff said in a release. "Together we can prevent visual loss and blindness by ensuring the safety, accessibility, and affordability of early disease detection."
 
Both companies have a history of innovation. IDx received FDA clearance for IDx-DR in April , marking the first time the FDA has cleared an autonomous AI diagnostic system that does not require a physician to interpret images or results.
 
New Jersey-based Topcon introduced the first commercial back-of-the-eye spectral domain (SD) and swept source (SS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems, and recently announced the release and class II clearance of Topcon Harmony, a diagnostic data management application that enables software providers, electronic health record managers and third-party manufacturers to seamlessly integrate diagnostic results into a central location.

Being the first to crack the medical artificial intelligence (AI) code has paid off in a big way for Coralville-based IDx, which last week secured $33 million in funding from four strategic investors in one of the largest venture capital deals in Iowa history. In  late September, the University of Iowa spinout  announced it has secured $33 million in funding from four strategic investors in one of the largest venture capital deals in the state's history. Its IDx-DR system is already in use by UI Health Care, marking the first time U.S. patients have received a medical diagnosis from an autonomous AI system.
MMediRevv announces partnership with Nebraska health system

 
Regional West Health Services, a health system serving patients in western Nebraska and neighboring states, and MediRevv, a Coralville-based revenue cycle management company, have announced a new partnership in which MediRevv will restructure the company's business office functions and assume responsibility for 65 Regional West employees, all of whom will remain in Nebraska.
 
For Regional West, the agreement will result in one centralized billing office for the entire system, improving the patient experience and the company's financial strength.
 
"It takes a team approach for effective financial management and we recognize that a having a strong revenue cycle enables us to deliver quality patient financial care," Michael Ickowski, vice president and CFO of Regional West, said in a release. "Our strategic business fit with MediRevv is based on our shared practice of putting patients first. We believe MediRevv will be an asset to our Regional West team and our patients."
 
For MediRevv, a frequent presence on the CBJ's Fastest Growing Companies and Coolest Places to Work list, the new partnership expands its footprint nationally.
 
"This partnership is built on common values of trust and 'doing what's right' - especially for the patient," said Brad Baldwin, COO of MediRevv. "Effective today, we're uniting Regional West's commitment to service excellence and high standards of patient care with MediRevv's best-practice, patient-centric approach to optimizing and accelerating revenue cycle operational efficiency and financial performance. That is a powerful combination."
 
Regional West Health Services is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in Nebraska. The system spans more than 28 physician clinics and 300 providers, serving people in Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming.
 For the complete list of this week's Movers & Shakers, see the Oct. 22 edition of the CBJ. 
 
Colette Atkins 
Colette Atkins this week was appointed to fill the Ward 1 vacancy on the Marion City Council.
 
Ms. Atkins has been a resident of Ward 1 in Marion since 2007. She and her husband are former members of the U.S. Air Force, relocating to Iowa after his honorable discharge. Ms. Atkins chose a career path in higher education and currently serves as dean of business and IT programs at Kirkwood Community College. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in education policy and leadership studies through the University of Iowa.
 
"I believe that all residents can and should have a voice in their local government," Ms. Atkins said in a statement. "I am a consensus builder and problem solver. It will be my honor to serve as a community trustee on the Marion City Council."
 
The Ward 1 position was left vacant on Sept. 30 with the resignation of Kim Etzel, who cited work conflicts. Ms. Atkins will fill the remaining 15 months on the term, unless a petition is filed requiring that the vacancy be filled by a special election as set forth in Section 372.13 of the Code of Iowa.  

NCSML President and CEO Cecilia Rokusek shown receiving the Silver Medal from Miroslav Lajčák, the Slovak Republic's Minister of Foreign Affairs. CREDIT NCSML 
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) president and CEO Cecilia Rokusek was one of four honorary consuls recently awarded the Silver Medal by Miroslav Lajčák, the Slovak Republic's Minister of Foreign Affairs.
 
Ms. Rokusek has been Slovak Honorary Consul for Florida since 2008, and was named to lead the Cedar Rapids-based NCSML in July following the retirement of longtime president Gail Naughton. She was awarded the Silver Medal in recognition of her "sustained and enduring contribution to bilateral cooperation and for significant role in promoting Slovakia's reputation abroad."
 
The presentation took place on Oct. 21 at the eighth biannual meeting of the honorary consuls of the Slovak Republic, which brought together more than 120 honorary consuls in Bratislava, the capital of the republic.
 
According to the Slovak Republic's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Silver Medal of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic is, together with the Golden Medal, an award conferred upon persons or collectives from public life, foreigners or Slovak citizens who have significantly contributed to enhancing relations with the Slovak Republic, promoting Slovakia abroad or developing Slovak foreign policy.
 
Oct. 25
Corridor Career Fair , by Corridor Careers, 3:30-6:30 p.m., Cedar Rapids Marriott, 1200 Collins Road NE, Cedar Rapids. Meet face-to-face with Corridor businesses who have open positions. Free. To register or for more information, visit bit.ly/2OwCTLJ.
 
PWN October Meeting , by Professional Women's Network of Iowa, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., U.S. Bank, 222 Second Ave., SE, Cedar Rapids. Consultant Marlo Higgins will speak on the topic of "How to Set, Honor and Manage Expectations of Yourself." Tickets: Free for members, $25 for non-members. To register, visit pwnia.org.
 
Leadership Summit, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 8-11:30 a.m., Hills Bank & Trust, 3204 Seventh Ave., Marion. Keynote speaker Tracey Jones will discuss "Identifying Your Tremendous Triggers" as part of the chamber's annual meeting. Cost: $20 per person, or $150 for a table of eight. For more information visit bit.ly/2OQvwC1   .
 
Ribbon Cutting: Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown , by Iowa City Chamber of Commerce, 5 p.m., 255 E. Court St., Iowa City. Enjoy a night of music, food and beverages as the Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown celebrates its grand opening. Free.
 
Business PM , by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, 4:30- 6:30 p.m., J.Jill, 920 E. Second Ave., Ste. 155, Coralville. Network with area professionals in a casual, after-work environment. Free. For more information visit bit.ly/2PIg08G .
 
Oct. 26
Live2Lead , by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1650 Matterhorn Drive NE, Cedar Rapids. Live2Lead is a TED-Talk style simulcast that provides a leader development experience designed to equip participants with new perspectives, practical tools and key takeaways. For more information, visit bit.ly/2NGb0PW.
 
Ribbon Cutting: Blue Sky Productions , by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 1 p.m., Blue Sky, Productions, 1700 Banner Drive, Marion. Join us as we help Blue Sky Productions celebrate a re-model of their studio location. Free. For more information visit bit.ly/2CM6sGH.
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
 
The Cedar Rapids City Council Tuesday unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance that would require massage therapists to obtain a license to practice in the city. The goal is to cut down on massage parlors that act as a front for prostitution, which often is supplied by human traffickers. Police expressed frustration with the current system which does not allow them to shut an operation down after a sting. Under the proposed plan, any massage therapist must obtain a license from the city at a cost of $60 for a series of background checks. Much like tobacco and liquor licenses, the certification would be displayed at the therapist's place of business. Violations could then lead to a suspension or shutdown of services at any establishment. Many groups applauded the decision by the city, but a spokeswoman for massage therapists expressed concern that different rules in different cities would make it difficult for some to transfer jobs. Still, she didn't oppose the measure and told city leaders she plans to ask state lawmakers to pass tougher statewide regulations. In the meantime, the city's proposed ordinance is scheduled for a second and third reading on Nov. 13.

Democrat Fred Hubbell launched his final 14-day bus tour of Iowa in the home stretch of the race for governor. Among the stops on the first day, a listening session in Cedar Rapids with people affected by the switch to privatized Medicaid in Iowa. Many in attendance are caring or have cared for loved ones that require complex and long-term care. They shared the difficulties they had in navigating the private system and getting the level of service they experienced in the original state-run version. Mr. Hubbell has made Medicaid one of the top issues in the campaign and has vowed to reverse reforms put in place by Gov. Terry Branstad and supported by current Gov. Kim Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds admits improvements need to be made, but says going back to the old system is not sustainable. 

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

The cool weather continues for the rest of the week, but today will be the last day of full-on sunshine. Temperatures will be similar to yesterday and just climb to the low to mid 50s. Clouds will move in tonight and temperatures won't be as cold in the morning, in the mid to upper 30s. A front will move through the Midwest Thursday and Friday. There will still be enough dry air in place to keep most of Eastern Iowa dry through Friday afternoon. It will be cloudy both days with temperatures in the 40s and 50s.