New digital and social technologies can help tackle social isolation and loneliness, according to internet experts.
A new report by Internet of Things UK said video calls, computer literacy courses and the provision of internet access can improve the physical and mental health of people of all ages.
The report argues there is a clear association between loneliness and mental health problems such as depression, which is placing a strain on our National Health Service.
Future Cities Catapult, set up to promote use of the internet, also says social isolation and loneliness is one of society’s ‘most burdening problems’.
Social isolation and loneliness in the UK said there are technology-driven answers to help combat loneliness, engage the people affected and give them the skills to interact with the world around them, particularly among the older generation.
Hannah Griffiths, market analyst at Future Cities Catapult, said: ‘Technology can offer a cost-effective way of providing wider services and support and by highlighting innovative solutions, we hope this kick starts a policy drive to provide tangible answers to the problems that these debilitating conditions pose.’