The NHS Coronavirus contact tracking app could lead to a “digital divide” as only half of workers, retirees and unemployed people say they download it, compared to three quarters of “professionals”.
- Independent charity The Health Foundation surveyed around 2,000 Britons
- They found that the intended use of the tracing app was different among the population
- In addition, the level of education seems to play a role in the acceptance of the app
- Only 39 percent of those without formal qualifications said they would use it
- This was in contrast to the 71 percent of graduates who wanted to download
- The foundation fears that some will be "left behind" and will miss important health advice
- Here's how you can help people affected by Covid-19
The NHS Coronavirus Contact Tracking app could create a “digital divide” as only half of workers, pensioners, and unemployed people claim to download it.
This low level of acceptance, researchers, would not be reflected in “experts” – three quarters of those questioned said they used the app.
The results of the British charity Health Foundation raise new concerns about the highly anticipated contact tracking solution that may be “left behind”.
The NHS coronavirus contact tracking app pictured could create a "digital divide" as only half of workers, pensioners, and unemployed people claim to download it
The Health Foundation's survey of nearly 2,000 Britons found that only 62 percent were ready to download the app when it became generally available.
This rose to 73 percent in managerial, administrative or “professional” occupations, but fell to only around 50 percent for routine and manual workers, state pensioners and the unemployed.
The survey also found that 71 percent of graduates said they would likely use the app – but this fell to 63 percent for those with a baccalaureate or equivalent and 59 percent for those with only GCSE or equivalent.
In the meantime, only 38 percent of people with no formal qualifications indicated that they would likely download the contact tracking app.
In the meantime, 17 percent of the over-65s stated that they did not have a smartphone so that they could not use the contact tracking app at all.
In April, Oxford University researchers found that 56 percent of the population would need to use the app to completely suppress COVID-19 themselves – although lower intake would still help save lives.
The Health Foundation said it is concerned that those without the app may miss out on current information about their risk of infection if they come into close contact with others.
The charity also raised concerns about the “false warnings” burden from the app, saying that some groups were more likely to suffer “unintended consequences”.
"We have now launched the NHS test and trace service, which combines testing, contact tracking and outbreak management into an end-to-end service to stop the virus from spreading," a health ministry spokesman told MailOnline.
& # 39; The NHS COVID-19 app will only be part of it and is intended to complement other forms of the contact tracking process. All parts of society will benefit from the app. & # 39;
In addition, the government supports the "DevicesNotNow" campaign, which provides support and Internet-enabled devices to vulnerable people who isolate their homes without internet access.
This campaign is aimed at people who are shielded or at risk due to age, disability, health status and social isolation.
"The NHS Contact Tracking app could play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, increasing the number of people being tracked and speeding up the process," said Adam Stevenson, director of data analysis for the Health Foundation.
"For a virus that is transmitted as fast as the corona virus, this kind of instant contact tracking could prove invaluable. However, there is a significant risk that many will be left behind."
"The effects of COVID-19 are already felt unequally in society and seem to have a disproportionate impact on people in disadvantaged areas, the elderly and some ethnic minorities."
"In this context, it is particularly worrying that people in low-paying jobs and people with less formal education say that they are less likely to download and use the app – and of course not everyone has a smartphone."
"NHSX needs to ensure that the communities most in need of it take advantage of the app while ensuring that the app's potential negative consequences, such as false alarms, do not fall on those who are least able to withstand them . "
"It is also important that those who do not have access to the app receive priority protection through the government’s broader test and trace system and that a broader health inequality strategy is put in place."