UK figures show that socially isolated people are 3.5 times more likely to enter local authority funded residential care.
IoTUK's new report aims to provide an overview of the social isolation and loneliness landscape in the UK and how technology can help. The report explains which negative health outcomes arise from social isolation and quantifies some of the associated costs.
IoTUK, a national programme designed to accelerate the UK's Internet of Things (IoT) capability, was launched as part of the Government's £32M investment in IoT. IoTUK will receive £4M over the course of the three years, which will fund all the different components of the programme.
In summary, it is clear from the research conducted that social isolation and loneliness remain huge problems in our society, however progress is being made in both identifying vulnerable individuals and strengthening the business case for interventions through the more effective evaluation of existing interventions. Technology can offer a cost-effective way of providing wider services and support, however it should be used in conjunction with more traditional approaches in order to combat both social isolation and loneliness. In terms of areas for future development, it is apparent that there needs to be a renewed focus on addressing loneliness and social isolation earlier in the lifecourse in order to minimise negative outcomes later in life. Furthermore, while there is still uncertainty around which interventions are most effective in reducing loneliness and isolation, both funders and delivery partners should embrace experimentation and innovation, while aiming to develop a multi-pronged approach to tackling these conditions.