One of the immediate and far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is limited mobility. Physical distancing guidelines and multiple lockdowns in different states and territories forced people to stay at home, particularly during the first few months of the global health crisis.
The need for basic food, healthcare, government information dissemination and news services thus prompted information technology experts to come up with apps addressing these requirements. Some apps that appeared or grew in popularity at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic include the following:
Food delivery and ordering apps
A lot of food delivery apps in Australia have been around long before the start of COVID-19. However, these food delivery apps gained prominence at the height of the coronavirus crisis.
- Menulog: Said to be the country’s farthest-reaching food delivery service, Menulog has delivered to 90 per cent of Australian addresses. It provides users access to more than 11,000 restaurants and features discounts and special offers, as well as user reviews.
- Hey You: What originally started as a coffee ordering app has transitioned into one that gives users access to the best cafés and restaurants in Australia. The order-ahead platform allows you to make payments using a QSR code on your mobile phone.
- EASI: One of Australia’s most popular Asian food delivery platforms, this app is also available in NZ, UK, US, Japan and Canada. EASI delivers various Asian foods from over 25,000 restaurants, as well as groceries from partner supermarkets.
COVID-19 health and information apps
Being a global pandemic, COVID-19 has given rise to the development of various types of health apps – from those providing news, information and updates, to health and contact tracing apps.
- Coronavirus Australia: The Australian Government’s coronavirus news app gives people access to the latest updated official news, information and advice concerning COVID-19. It also provides regular snapshots of the COVID-19 status of the country.
- COVIDSafe: An initiative of the Australian Department of Health, COVIDSafe is designed to help keep the Australian community safe from the new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) by using close contact information (with permission) to inform people who are deemed to have been exposed to the virus.
- Instant Consult: The Instant Consult telehealth app makes it easy for users to access a fully qualified doctor for a remote consultation. By using this app, you can request for medical certificates, prescriptions (repeat and compound), specialist referrals, pathology and radiology requests, and have GP access after hours.
Apart from health-related apps, there are also apps that can be used by businesses to collect customer details (including times and dates of check-ins) for contact tracing purposes. Examples of these COVID-19 check-in apps are as follows:
- MyGuestlist: It lets customers check in by scanning a QR code, navigating to a URL or through SMS.
- Brisk Table: Free to use, Brisk Table makes use of QR code scanning. It also allows customers to sign in using your business’s own device during entry.
- SafeEntry: SafeEntry enables contactless check-in via QR code through a web application. It also gives COVID-19 alerts if a confirmed case has visited your premises.
Other check-in apps you should consider using include GuestTrack, GuestCheck, Mondo CheckIn, Service NSW app (if your business is in NSW), Check In CBR (for ACT businesses) and Victorian government app. However, some apps require paid subscriptions, so be sure to check that factor first if you have a limited budget.
Life after COVID-19
Although it seems the new coronavirus won’t be leaving anytime soon, people have found different ways to cope with its effects.
With the help of various apps, you can have access to different services and valuable information that’s especially crucial during these times.
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Oli Kang is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses AU