In this full immersion of the digital information age, people have increasingly turned to online spaces during their health information journeys, from identifying resources for a new diagnosis to seeking out communities going through similar experiences. And like so much of our current digital content consumption, those spaces are increasingly in the format of video — in 2021 alone YouTube had over 110 billion views on health condition videos globally.
In recent years, YouTube has invested in efforts to help make high-quality health information more accessible to everyone. After launching partnerships with a number of large health organizations last year, YouTube Health has now turned its attention to yet another critical piece of the puzzle — supporting the growth of credible healthcare content creators, and ensuring those channels are clearly labeled for viewers.
Announced last October, licensed healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations and industry creators on the platform can apply to get panels added to their videos that mark them as reliable health information sources. If verified, their relevant videos will also be added to health content shelves, which compile content from authoritative sources on health-related topics.
Many creators have already begun taking advantage of the features and are beginning to change how health information is shared online. At Google Health’s recent event, The Check Up, Dr. Garth Graham, Global Head of YouTube Health, spoke about the ‘human’ questions that many people come to YouTube looking for answers on, and highlighted the stories of Dr. Ali Mattu, Dr. Ana Escobar and Dr. Simi Adedeji, who discussed the importance of bringing “compassion” and allowing patients to recognize themselves in the content (above).
Prior to the launch of these features, YouTube worked closely with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) to establish a framework for eligibility and verification of clinicians’ credentials. To qualify, applicants must have proof of their license, follow best practices for health information sharing as set out by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the National Academy of Medicine, and the World Health Organization, and have a channel in good standing.
By combining its efforts to label sources, elevate authoritative information and remove harmful content, YouTube can help provide access to the best and brightest thinking in medicine and public health, in the online spaces people visit every single day. At the same time, these efforts are also opening up a new opportunity to many clinicians around the world who may want to extend their reach beyond the four walls of their clinic.
The platform intends to expand the features geographically and topically over time. If you are a licensed clinician or nurse, see if you are eligible for these health features and apply on YouTube Health’s website.