The analogue generation is isolating but they don't have to be lonely

Featured article - 20 April 2020
By Harriet Gridley, KOMP

Harriet Gridley

It has become something of a truism to say that our everyday technology, from smartphones and tablets to computers, have helped build bridges across the world and bring people closer together. What this fails to capture are those left behind in this process; the elderly, who are also more prone to social isolation. This is especially poignant during the current coronavirus pandemic.

While the world turns to social media to stay in touch and ward off the negative effects of social isolation, the elderly are once more left without the technological tools to cope with loneliness. Coronavirus, which disproportionately affects those over the age of 65, has led to a surge in anxiety and stress among older adults. With no clear end in sight for the pandemic, the elderly are being asked to remain away from their family and friends for an indefinite amount of time. There is an urgent need to distribute tools to help combat loneliness among older adults, whilst keeping in mind that with age, it becomes harder to remember passwords, and touch screens are difficult to manoeuvre.

The premise behind KOMP is simple but powerful in its delivery - to bring the joys of an interconnected world to those amongst us that are both unaccustomed to gadgets and particularly susceptible to loneliness. KOMP is a one-button computer that bridges this gap, allowing seniors to enjoy the gains of a digitally connected world. A KOMP user in her 90s told us: “My daughter lives nearby but my son lives in Brighton, and the grandchildren live there too. They can speak to me on the KOMP and we see each other face to face and chat. It’s great at this time of isolation”.

The technology behind it

KOMP, by No Isolation, is a simple and accessible screen that has an integrated camera and microphone. KOMP is placed with the senior, and set up instantly, with no training required. Family members can interact with KOMP through an easy app, or by carers through a secure web platform. Security is absolutely key, with video calls end-to-end encrypted. The video calls, photo messaging, and calendar feature all work to build a secure community around the senior.

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