A federally backed tracing app is on the horizon, and experts have said that about a 60 per cent participation rate is needed in order for it to be truly helpful for tracking the spread of the virus.
“That’s the tricky part here — you need an app that is endorsed but also adopted,” said Emily Seto, an engineer and health technology specialist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at the University of Toronto.
“There are barriers. Some people don’t have smartphones… So how do you distribute this type of technology? How do you get it into the hands of the people who actually need it?”
There are “all kinds of vulnerable populations” that are unlikely to have or use smartphones, Seto said. Older Canadians are just one of them.
Sixty per cent of seniors (defined as individuals aged 65 and older) reported owning a smartphone in 2018, according to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Internet Use Survey.