Lunch ‘N Learn with SE Health’s Futures Team


Lunch ‘N Learn with SE Health’s Futures Team

Zoya Retiwalla | TRP | November 27, 2019 

SE Health’s mission is to spread hope and happiness and they are reconceptualizing aging to realize their endeavor.

Photo – Lunch ‘N Learn with SE Futures: Paolo Korre, Director of Service Design, a  member of the SE Futures Team, visited the TRP to discuss co-creating a future with technologies and services that can benefit older adults and caregivers.


The way we age and die in the future will be nothing like what it has been for the past century or more. The mindsets and business models of the past no longer serve this space. SE Futures was established for the new era of health innovation – a future where the “home-spital” is where health will be created, managed, and restored, people and their families will be more empowered, and intelligence will support decisions.

SE Futures is protecting and creating this future of health, focused on the older adult population in Canada. In their belief that healthcare, aging, and dying can be different Paolo Korre mentioned that – “We approach healthcare innovations with a lot of openness.” Their core aim is to bring about instrumental changes by constantly experimenting with their approach. “We try to bring solutions and opportunities for not just incremental changes but disruptive solutions to help foster a difference.”

With their vision to co-creating a future where the Canadian Age with Agency, Dignity, Health and Vitality, their foremost idea is reframing aging. They do not refer to seniors as individuals who no longer have any value, they instead strongly believe that seniors not only have value to add to our society as a whole but also deserve to receive value from our society in return. “Living alone is hard, but dying alone is even harder,” Paolo explained emphatically explaining their project that reimagines death and the experience of dying.

Talking about innovation and SE’s framework, Paolo shared his belief about why most innovation doesn’t work. “Innovation shuts down not because the ideas are bad but because we tend to lose sight of what we are trying to do, we stop experimenting, and we stop learning.” Organizations tend to lose sight of humans and user-experience when focussing on operating metrics. For SE, the importance of keeping it user-centred is the key to their successful endeavours. “It is essential to make a viable design but it is equally essential to believe in the process.”

Perspective, he says is the most important aspect to be mindful of in healthcare innovation. Healthcare professionals, who are often trained in the scientific method, do not check their own beliefs and ideas for bias. We must keep in mind our biases when trying to create great solutions and ideas.

Another important aspect of innovation is embracing the constraints in the problems we are trying to solve. Paolo pointed out how the adage “think outside the box” is problematic: innovation will provide a better understanding of the problem and hence lead to a more viable solution. “Don’t think outside the box, we need to think about the box. Are the walls and constraints of the box fixed, or can we change the constraints?  It is important to understand the box because we design and make within a context, which has constraints.”

This session ended with an intriguing discussion and culminated in a resounding thought – Agility is essential, but planning for iterations and re-iterations for delivering a pathbreaking innovation is equally essential.