A call has been put out to technology companies across the UK to come up with new digital support solutions for vulnerable people who have to stay at home because of coronavirus.

This includes the elderly and those who need some kind of care or support.

Although it was the UK Health Secretary who announced the £500,000 funding, the virus knows no boundaries, nor does isolation and is open to all UK companies.

There must be some innovators out there who could find ways using digital technology to support people during the Covid-19 outbreak? This may include people with social care needs or who require mental health support. Funding of £25,000 per company is available.

More information on techforce19.uk

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Staying at home and avoiding contact with others will be absolutely necessary in reducing the spread of this virus and ultimately it will save lives.

“However, we know  isolation is not easy – especially for older people, those who live alone, have mental health problems or those who care for others. 

“If people cannot leave the house, we need to quickly find ways to bring support to them and today I am calling on the strength of our innovative technology sector to take on this challenge.

“Techforce19 will mobilise the UK’s incredible reservoir of talent to develop simple, accessible tools that can be rolled out quickly and help tackle the effect of social isolation.

“I am calling on our brilliant tech sector to take on this challenge.

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said: “Tech can play an important role in helping the country deal with the challenges created by coronavirus. This competition is focused on the problems created by isolation, which lend themselves to digital solutions.

“It will allow NHSX to accelerate the development of those solutions, so within weeks they can help those in isolation suffering from loneliness, mental health issues and other problems.”