Technology | The Guardian

Is this the future – five-year-olds designing smart technology? | Anna Bawden

July 18, 2019 at 09:46AM

Mihika Sharma’s smart stick, which helps blind people cross the road, is one of the winning entries in this year’s Tech4Good awards

Nine months since the government unveiled its social prescribing strategy to tackle loneliness, progress is still patchy. One in 20 adults in England feel lonely often or always, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. And two-thirds of disabled people report feeling lonely. Part of the problem is that efforts are being hampered by austerity: figures out this month showed that £7.7bn has been cut from adult social care budgets in England, and the number of daycare centres has fallen by more than 40% from 2010 levels.

Technology is already at the forefront of efforts to reduce loneliness, but the winners of this year’s Tech4Good awards, announced on Wednesday, show how innovative use of technology can improve access to cultural and leisure activities, which are an excellent way to bring people together.

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