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  • Hector Alexander

Connecting and Supporting the Digitally Excluded

Digital exclusion is a national challenge.


While the digitisation of public services, such as health and welfare, improves access for many, those who are most vulnerable are often left behind.


99% of those in their 20s and 30s have internet-enabled smartphones, and online services are convenient. Newly-established platforms like Babylon Health now allow people to reach their doctor immediately, and from anywhere, over app-hosted video calls.


For older and more vulnerable cohorts, however, digitisation can perversely mean further exclusion. In the UK, only 40% of those over 65 use an internet-connected smartphone (leaving 7.08 million people without). Across all age groups, 8% (4.3 million people) have zero basic digital skills, and a further 12% (6.4 million adults) only to have limited digital abilities.


The digitisation of services does little to aid our connection with vulnerable individuals who are not online, and traditional methods – such as using staffed call centres – are resource consuming.


In the context of supporting health services, without the convenience of new digital apps, the individual is required to seek help via other avenues if their health demands it.


The pandemic has highlighted the problem of uneven access to public services. Shielded households (those required to self-isolate) are – by definition – the most vulnerable in our society. These individuals are the most reliant on public services yet, as we have seen, are least connected digitally.


In light of this problem, we saw a need for a direct way of mass communication using existing phone line infrastructure. We developed an automated call centre that has the capability to contact over 12,000,000 people every day. Our human-like engagement tool collects critical information from large groups of people.


We are working to provide the same outcomes as traditional call centres at a fraction of the cost, and the platform is adaptable to many applications, such as:

  • Covid-19 support line

  • Benefits notifications

  • Check-ins on vulnerable individuals

Our mission is to connect the digitally excluded to public services such as technology enabled care. We welcome opportunities to continue supporting the vulnerable cohort in communities, local authorities and local councils nationwide.


For more information about Yokeru please contact Hector at hector@yokeru.io.

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