In Brief

‘Compassionate tech’ aids fight against social problems

Britain has become a world-leader in the new sector – worth £7bn in the UK alone

The UK’s “compassionate technology” sector is bigger than that of the rest of Europe combined, new research suggests.

Companies working in the sector use technology to support vulnerable people, such as those suffering from loneliness, poor mental health or inadequate social care. According to Public, an organisation which supports tech start-ups in the UK, it’s a business worth £7bn in Britain alone.

Examples of compassionate tech in practice include Beam, a company founded by entrepreneur Alex Stephany. Beam uses social media to find sponsors and match them with homeless people in need of help. It’s not a charity, and for every £10 it receives, it uses £1 which to fund its operation and pay salaries for staff.

One of its beneficiaries, Davina, who had been homeless for seven years, is now “training to become an accountant” after Beam raised £2,320 for her in just nine days, the BBC reports.

Other compassionate tech firms include No Isolation, which designs computer technology that helps elderly people to stay in touch with relatives and friends, and GP at Hand, which seeks to ease the burden on the NHS by helping people book appointments on smartphones.

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