Loneliness is a growing concern affecting the health and quality of life of older adults living in the community. Addressing loneliness in ageing populations is an important policy priority. Central to this is the detection of type and severity of loneliness. Advancement in technology provides an opportunity for loneliness to be inferred through physiological and behavioural changes. In this article, we provide an overview of the current evidence on wearable and sensor technologies to detect loneliness in older adults including reviewing physiological measures of loneliness. Two recent reviews have highlighted how loneliness in older adults can be inferred using in-home sensors and smartphones. However, ethical and privacy issues remain an unaddressed issue in the development of technologies to measure loneliness in this population. Ongoing research is working to address this through the development a new multi-functional sensor which can be used in fabrics and textiles in the home to measure loneliness in people age 65 and over. We present an overview of the DEsign for healthy ageing: A smart system to decrease LONELINESS for older people (DELONELINESS) study.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • ageing
  • loneliness
  • measurement
  • older adults
  • technology


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