The coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) has infected roughly 100 million individuals as of the end of January 2021, resulting in over million deaths worldwide. This global epidemic has posed enormous problems across the world. Given COVID-19’s fast spread, a society’s awareness and understanding of the virus, essential prevention measures (e.g., wearing masks), and adoption of innovative forms of treatment (e.g., video consultations) are critical.
Many communication channels have been flooded with disinformation (called a “infodemic”), emphasizing the necessity for policymakers and healthcare practitioners to offer trustworthy information that is easy to understand and accessible. In addition to government-implemented interventions, adequate health literacy among the general public is essential. High levels of awareness of suggested preventive health behaviors (e.g., mask use, hand cleanliness) are critical barriers to COVID-19 spreading in the population. All of these things can help with illness prevention, diagnosis, and management.
COVID-19 infection has been linked to significant consequences and mortality in older individuals and those with systemic comorbidities (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension), according to recent research. Given that the old are more likely to have these health comorbidities, COVID-19 mortality risk would be greater in the elderly population than in the middle-aged or younger population. As a result, there is a higher urgency to ensure that the older population is well-informed on COVID-19 prevention.
Despite the fact that the elderly have a higher risk of COVID-19 and have lower healthy literacy skills in general, few research have looked at the elderly’s health literacy levels when it comes to COVID-, particularly in Asian populations. In summary, research performed in Western nations discovered that a significant percentage of participants had low health literacy skills, with some citing difficulty assessing the vast amount of information available online and a lack of readiness for a pandemic breakout as reasons. On the other hand, a study done in China discovered that study participants engaged in a high degree of preventative behavior.
However, the majority of the participants in this research were young (mean age = 31 years, and just 25 were under 60 years old). In Asians, the influence of COVID-19 on the well-being of the older people has not been well explored.
Digital health services, on the other hand, have steadily become more important in decreasing non-essential commuting in the community by minimizing face-to-face contact between physicians and patients. However, the perception and acceptability of digital health services among Asian old people has yet to be well-documented. As we transition to a new normal following COVID-19, the trend toward digital health services (e.g., teleconsultation with a doctor, medical catboats, or utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate medical reports) will become more prevalent.
This research has two objectives. To begin, researchers wanted to see how much COVID-19 awareness, knowledge, effect, and readiness there was among older Asian individuals. Second, in the midst of the epidemic, assess their adoption of digital health services. As we approach a new normal post-COVID-19, the findings from this study will be valuable in assisting the formulation and implementation of COVID-19 related public measures.