The UK technology sector has grown 2.6 times faster than the UK economy as a whole last year, new figures show. One of the greatest areas of growth has been in the compassionate tech, with new applications and online services that helps society’s most vulnerable.
“I ended up couch surfing from place to place, so I don’t really have anywhere [my],” the 27-year-old D. tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.
She was without a home for seven years.
“You can affect your mood a lot, because they do not have a personal space is your own.
“I had no direction,” he says.
But now D. is the hope of a different life.Dream role
She is training to become an accountant, thanks to the funds collected through compassionate technology – a thriving UK sector, in which private start-up tech that it uses to provide health and social services to those most in need.
For D. – whose surname we are not using – it was a company known as the Beam.
Beam approaches the homeless charity, create a plan for people to get their dream role, and then uses social media to match sponsors for individual campaigns.
And there is no shortage of people signing up.
Beam, with thousands of sponsors to pledge anything from £5 to £2000, which so far has taken 30 people into jobs.
D. the campaign was funded in just nine days, collecting the sum of £2,320.
“There are people out there, I don’t even know who are willing to support me. So it feels great,” he says.’Lots of courage’
One of those which supported her was David Gordon, north of London.
The accountant was one of the largest lenders, after the Legislative history of resonance with him.
“I was thinking that it was quite difficult for me [to become an accountant], in order for you to do so in the face of adversity – you’ve got a lot of courage,” she says, as they meet for the first time.
He was full of praise for the Beam.
“I thought that was a great idea and innovative way to help people get over the line,” he says.
Currently the Beam is £1 every £ 10 that is financed to perform its operation.
But its founder, Alex Stephany, I want to change it.
“We hope [in the future] this is a service that the government is funding that will allow us to help as many people as possible,” he says.
“That will also allow us to save money for the taxpayers, because, at the time, a roof is a very costly problem for the taxpayer is bearing the brunt.”The fight against loneliness
The UK has more investments in compassionate technology companies than the rest of Europe put together, the data from the Public, which supports the sector of the start-up – suggests.
These companies are part of a sector with an estimated value of around £7 billion, most that the financial technology sector – the new services such as the current account apps disrupting traditional banking.
And the UK technology industry as a whole grew 4.5% between 2016 and 2017, figures from a Tech Nation show.
This is almost three times the rate of the UNITED kingdom of the gross domestic product (GDP), the amount that the economy produces, which grew 1.8% during the same period.
Another area where compassionate technology is growing, is in the fight against loneliness of the elderly.
The technology is often designed for younger users, with a touchscreen that often does not work for older users with dry hands, leaving them able to communicate with others easily.
“I find with my phone, I have to sit down very carefully and do everything in this business,” says 84-year-old Mariano, from Bromley. “I can’t do what children do.”
But now she has a high-resolution screen, called Komp, controlled with a single dial.
It allows you to connect with her grandchildren, which can remotely update with fresh images.
Karen Dolva, head of the company the Insulation that is behind the product, says: “We have been forcing tech made for the millennials to the elderly, and does not work.
“Can’t you give them something that is altered [for older people], you have to start over.”‘Stratospheric growth’
Compassionate technology is already integrated within some of the member of the public services.
An example is the GP at Hand, that allows you to book an appointment with the NHS doctor on your smartphone within two hours.
Currently only available in the capital – is designed to take the strain off the demand for GP services, and means dropping your existing local GP and go to one of the three central London, surgeries, if you are being asked to see someone in person.
There is criticism, however, from some of the charities that compassionate tech should not be necessary, if the support to public services, was there in the first place.
But this is disputed by Margot James MP, the minister for the digital and creative industries.
“I think that all of us must do our part to solve these problems and give people hope,” he says.
“The public sector and the government does not have the monopoly of ideas on how to help people in need.”
However it is funded, the industry has seen “massive” growth in the last few years, according to Max Rooms by the Public.
He believes many former care workers are driving change, and praises the technology companies, the ability to tackle issues such as social care, loneliness, mental health and financial exclusion.
“These start-ups mark the dawn of a new compassionate tech,” he says.
Watch the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays from 09:00 to 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News channel.