5 NYC Startups I Am Keen On


New York startups

  1. X.ai: A virtual personal assistant (Amy Ingram) helps schedule meetings for you.

Why I like it: Amy really streamlines the back and forth of scheduling meetings for you. I found her to be very polite, and a lot of people I scheduled meetings with didn’t even notice that she wasn’t a real person. I also liked how every Monday morning I would get a summary email updating me about what she has been working on, or that I could query her at any time for an update by asking a simple question.

  1. Sols: 3D-printed custom orthotics

Why I like it: A lot of us spend time on our feet, play sports/exercise and/or suffer from foot problems/injuries. In the past, you would have to visit the podiatrist and you would get a script to get fitted for special shoes/insoles. Most of the time, you would end up leaving with something that was really comfortable but was a bit clunky and didn’t necessarily fit your personal style. Additionally, since they were special-order, it would take a few weeks to get your orthotics. Sols leverages the customizability and speed of 3D-printing and represents orthotics 2.0. I see athletes, people with podiatric issues, and those of us who wear pumps/high heels on a regular basis really getting into the product.

  1. Kinsa: Smart Thermometer

Why I like it: I think the price point is great and the design is fun and interactive, which can definitely help if you are a parent or even a healthcare worker taking a child’s temperature. It’s also really simple to use and since it’s connected to your smartphone, you can keep track of your temperature readings/symptoms in an organized way.

  1. Smart Vision Labs:Smartphone autorefractor (portable eye test lab that tests vision by taking pictures of the retina)

Why I like it: I wear glasses so I definitely can empathize with people who have refractive vision issues, as not being able to see clearly can affect productivity, your ability to read documents, or even just your ability to go about your day-to-day activities. In terms of the product, I like the portability, the speed, and the ability to generate an eyeglass prescription instantly. I also like the implications for its use in global and rural eye health (the tool has already been field-tested in Haiti and Guatemala).

  1. Immunovent:LAMB-Dx (Local Allergy Mucosal Brush)- allergy diagnostics using brush samples from the nose and mouth

Why I like it: In a word: painless. I know quite a few allergy sufferers (both adults and children) and the traditional skin/scratch test generally involves you getting pricked for each allergen and whichever ones blow up like mosquito bites are the allergens you are allergic to (read: not fun). I like that it tests for both airborne and food allergies (quite common), as well as for local symptomatic responses (nose and mouth).


Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by mike

About the author: Dr. Charlene Ngamwajasat

Dr. Charlene Ngamwajasat is the creator and writer of the blog Just Curious. She practices in New York City, specializing in internal medicine. She describes herself as a physician who loves to travel, read and experience new things.

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