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South Australia launches apps to improve public transport

South Australia has launched three new smartphone apps and revamped its Adelaide Metro website to deliver better customer service via its public transportation networks, in the wake of COVID-19.

Replacing the unpopular metroMATE app, the new apps will offer several additional features, designed to simplify and expedite journeys.

The more popular Moovit app combines real-time data to give commuters the fastest route, an audio alert when their stop is approaching and a countdown display of stops.

The NextThere app, rated the highest, displays departure information at a tap, allowing users to save favourite trips and filter by stop, destination or route.

Additionally, the Transit app shows real-time arrivals and step-by-step directions and helps find new routes using buses, trains and trams.

The Adelaide Metro website — one of the state’s highest-trafficked websites with more than 3 million users and 50 million-page views annually — will also be simplified, with fewer clicks required to access relevant information.

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government said the upgrades would provide a more user-friendly service, in response to the AHPPC’s Principles for COVID-19 Public Transport Operations.

By providing better, faster and more accurate information the government is empowering public transport customers to make better decisions about their journeys, providing a better service.

Embracing tech to provide better health services during COVID

Like the use of tech to better public transport, a growing number of South Australians are embracing the use of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, with sessions up by nearly 150 per cent.

The nation’s Minister for Health and Wellbeing stated that over 17,500 sessions – including appointments – occurred from February to April, compared to about 7,000 for the same period last year. These calls were all longer than 10 minutes.

The Government is laser focussed on delivering better health services for South Australians. They see technology as a key vehicle to deliver on that commitment.

The expansion of telehealth services is part of the government’s plan to protect South Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When COVID-19 first emerged, authorities identified the important role technology could play in protecting public health and reducing the spread of the virus.

Since then, they have pursued innovative ways to broaden the use of telehealth so more South Australians can receive their care from home.

This includes providing videoconference consultations for people with cystic fibrosis and developing new regulations to allow patients to receive digital copies of their medical scripts through a telehealth consult.

South Australians embrace the telehealth platform and believe it will remain an important tool, even after the pandemic ends.

To cope with the increase in demand, SA Health has introduced a second provider for its telehealth services.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital Network (WCHN) has been expanding its use of telehealth in the fight against COVID-19 to connect patients and doctors.

The WCHN Clinical Lead of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Service said the increased demand for telehealth has fast-tracked the introduction of remote screening appointments for women with complicated pregnancies, such as those carrying twins.

“With many people’s movements restricted due to COVID-19, platforms like telehealth are in more demand than ever because they can bring the specialist to the patient,” he said.

Overall, South Australia is maintaining a flow of tech innovations to help its citizens adjust to the new normal while also getting all their health and transport needs met.

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