Ten Apps making life easier during coronavirus pandemic
Video conferencing Apps
These comprise technologies for the reception and transmission of audio-video signals by users at different locations, for communication between people on a real time basis.
To comply with the WHO strict guidelines on combating Covid-19, corporates and learning institutions have resorted to software’s such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts Meet, Cisco Weekly Meetings, GoToMeetings, Join.Me, and YouTube among others to conduct their businesses offsite.
Web learning portals
Longhorn, IBM, Microsoft and Google are among companies that are providing free access to their portals, enabling remote online learning.
Longhorn has a free learning portal for quarantined primary and secondary school children, where Grade 1 to Form 4 learners access learning materials that cover both the new Competency Based Curriculum and also 8-4-4 system.
These are softwares that allow businesses to launch, host, and manage their online stores.
In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, a surge in usage of these platforms has been witnessed in Kenya, with consumers using them to order and deliver goods and services especially from supermarkets and various eateries.
Some of the companies providing these services in Kenya are Jumia, Cheki, Olx, rupu.co.ke and EABL’s Yum Turn Up.
As patients with suspected symptoms are being advised to self-quarantine, telemedicine is seeing an unprecedented demand, with HealthCare Apps connecting doctors and patients remotely.
Popular ones in Kenya, which are coming in handy, are My Dawa, where Kenyans can purchase medicine and get them delivered at their doorstep in less than four hours; Hello Doctor, for one-on-one confidential text message conversations with a doctor; MedAfrica, a pocket clinic used to diagnose symptoms caused by diseases making it easy to provide treatment as well as give users access to doctors’ directory and nearby hospitals and mDaktari which involves a 15-minute video consultation anytime from 8 am to 11 pm.
In order to prevent cash acting as a ‘fomite’, Safaricom, Telkom and Airtel have scrapped mobile money transaction fees to promote cashless transactions.
Additionally, they have expanded transaction and wallet balance limits to promote broader use of mobile money services by small traders.
Similarly, using Sim Application Toolkit (STK) or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) interfaces Kenyans are able to remotely access their bank accounts.
Internet Technology professionals are now using remote desktop software’s like AnyDesk, TeamViewer, pcAnywhere, and Splashtop among others with remote administration programmes that provide free remote access to personal computers running the host application, and enabling them to support essential staff in the office.
Taxi Hailing Apps
Taxi hailing applications have come in handy, especially for essential services workers such as medical professionals and health workers, national security, administration and co-ordination officers, media houses, among others.
Because of the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by the government, employers are now using these services to transport their workers.
Some of the popular apps include Little Cab, Uber, Bolt, Pewin Cabs, Delight Cabs Ltd among others.
Traffic jam Apps
Kenyans are increasingly turning to apps like Ma3Route, HERE Maps, Twende Twende and Google Maps to direct them on alternative routes without traffic.
They are also giving drivers real-time routing around traffic tie-ups and enabling people to reach home in time to beat the dusk-to- dawn curfew hours.
These gadgets are coming in handy in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though not yet in Kenya, but their usage is gaining momentum. In Ireland’s Mater Hospital, Robots have been deployed to help overwhelmed nurses fight the pandemic, by assigning them to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Department, enabling IPC nurses to spend more time with patients in critical care.
In Tunisia, a police robot has been deployed to patrol Tunis, to ensure that people are observing the coronavirus lockdown.
If it spies anyone walking in the largely deserted streets, it approaches them and asks why they are out.
With the stay-home directive for non-essential staff, the e-paper apps platforms that host the soft copy versions of the daily newspapers, including People Daily newspaper, which can be accessed on https://www.pd.co.ke/ or the People Daily App, have become popular with Kenyans turning to them for news.