Farhad Attaie on Innovating the Pediatric Service Model

Farhad Attaie from Hellosmile started with a question. What’s the one thing that brings you happiness?

He showed a video from the Design to Move project by Nike (after a brief technical crash of Parson’s infrastructure). It showed children speculating on what they might do if they could live an extra five years.

This was an introduction to the idea that the current generation of children are suffering from preventable chronic diseases and are on a path to live sicker, shorter lives than their parents. One in three children are born into poverty in New York City. They live in what he called “diseased environments” saturated in advertisements for junk food. Cavities, diabetes, obesity are problems at unprecedented rates.

First, they created a non-profit. Democratizing of design and technology, collaboration. Many students have done their thesis work through this organization.

Empowering Changemakers:
Start with three questions:
1. Are you passionate about your own health and happiness.
2. Are you committed to constant and never-ending growth?
3. Do you believe that a small group of committed citizens can change their community?

Hellosmile built a website with a nomination process for “you are totally awesome.” People were initiating new behaviors according to these expectations.

Engaging Children and Families:
The healthcare experience in the Bronx and Brooklyn is inconvenient. It’s a disease model of healthcare built on triage. Instead, they’re trying to build a preventative care business model. 70% preventative vs 30% invasive treatment.

Connecting Communities:
Physical spaces and innovative clinics. Super Sprowtz storytelling through puppets. The ice-cream truck model of salad bar consumption.

The documentary Fed Up follows some of these same themes, focused more on the problem than the solution. It’s worth looking up on Netflix.

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