home page

We’re glad to see Sherpaa, a newcomer to the New York health startup scene.

Sherpaa says it provides “around the clock email and phone access to our friendly, NYC-based doctors (or Guides as we call them). Whenever you have a health question or concern, we’re here for you. And we play nicely with the insurance you’ve got.”

It’s a service that is paid for by employers. The first customer, according to the Web site, is the very buzz-y Tumblr blogging service.

What else is notable: It is run by Dr. Jay Parkinson, formerly of HelloHealth, and Grant Harrison. The two also have another firm, The Future Well, where they design, consult and speak on health-related issues. They are well-known in the medical community, and this startup is one we hope will have great successes. It’s offered in New York only. Individuals can’t join, but employers can become customers to offer the service to their employees.

The Sherpaa guides, the web site says, are connected local doctors who can either solve your problem right away or connect you with someone who can.

Perhaps you have a cut finger. The  Sherpaa scenario: you call, take a picture of the cut, discuss it with a doctor, the doctor makes a plan (either she treats it, or arranges the best treatment in the best location), and you get the care you need. No emergency room, in other words.

The Web site adds: “We want to take all the confusion out of healthcare and make it simple for you. We believe in real relationships with real humans, and we like to keep things local. We also love how the internet makes life easier. So we combined everything we love and started Sherpaa—because doctors + communication + your neighborhood + the internet just makes sense.”

It’s great to see so many new and different types of startups in the health marketplace. It’s a sign of the times: the current system doesn’t work on many levels (money, convenience, quality metrics, oh, and money). This service aims to address some of those problems.

Welcome back, Jay and Grant!


Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...