YouTube is expanding product features that aim to provide information and context about credible health sources to include videos made by licensed healthcare professionals.
The health source information panels, which were first introduced in the U.S. last year, label health content from authoritative sources like educational institutions, public health departments, hospitals and government entities. These videos are pulled into health content shelves that sit at the top of health-related searches.
Starting today, healthcare professionals can apply to make their content eligible for these features. Applicants will need to provide proof of their license, have a channel in good standing on YouTube and follow best practices for sharing health information as determined by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the National Academy of Medicine and the World Health Organization.
Those best practices include disclosing training and expertise, providing information from high-quality sources like peer-reviewed studies, and posting corrections or retractions if necessary.
Dr. Garth Graham, director and global head of healthcare and public health at YouTube, said the video and social media platform will first focus on doctors, nurses, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and licensed clinical social workers in the U.S. But YouTube plans to expand the features to other specialties and regions.
“I think our team’s goal overall is, how do we improve the way in which communities get health information overall?” he told MobiHealthNews. “We’re trying to advance the field of how platforms, us and others, are able to show the cues and clues that people would need to be able to better trust and judge the health information they’re receiving.”
THE LARGER TREND
The spread of health misinformation on social media became a particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, as some users pushed falsehoods about the disease, treatments and the vaccine.
An analysis published earlier this year in BMJ Global Health found approximately 11% of YouTube’s most viewed videos on COVID-19 vaccines, which amassed 18 million views, contradicted information from the WHO or the CDC.
YouTube first announced the health source information panels in July 2021, and it has been expanding them to new markets. In March, it announced the tools would be added in Brazil, Japan and India.
In another effort aimed at producing high-quality health videos, YouTube revealed THE-IQ, a partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, last month. The partners are providing seed funding and production assistance to three organizations to create content on health inequities, mental health and maternal care.