UVic IT project helps fight social isolation

The University of Victoria’s efforts to keep seniors and people with disabilities independent is $3.5 million closer to reaching that goal, thanks to provincial support for two web-based programs.

The University of Victoria’s efforts to keep seniors and people with disabilities independent is $3.5 million closer to reaching that goal, thanks to provincial support for two web-based programs.

On June 27, the province announced the funding, which will primarily support Connect for Care.

It’s a user-friendly suite of online tools that help prevent vulnerable people from becoming isolated.

Tyze Personal Networks will lead the $3-million project, developed in partnership with UVic’s CanAssist and the PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship.

“We want to support families and communities in planning for the future and this funding will help provide state-of-the-art devices to help eliminate challenges and create these opportunities,” Premier Christy Clark said.

The simplified and tailored features of Connect for Care include video chat, mobile collaboration tools and secure systems for sharing personal and health care files to build personal support networks among health-care providers, clients and their families.

The remaining $500,000 will fund CanFITT, a similar prototype program, now in development through CanAssist and the Vancouver Island Health Authority. By 2031, almost a quarter of B.C.’s population will be over 65.