Google wants to leverage YouTube’s scale and reach to disseminate trusted health videos, and announced a new effort to “surface easy-to-understand medical information from some of the most respected organizations and clinicians.”

YouTube has a new health partnerships team to “make high-quality health content available for viewers around the world.” It’s working with the American Public Health AssociationCleveland ClinicHarvard School of Public HealthMayo ClinicOsmosisPsych Hub, and National Academy of Medicine

This effort is led by Dr. Garth Graham, who previously worked as Chief Community Health Officer at CVS Health and as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Bush and Obama Administrations. As YouTube’s Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships, he notes how the healthcare profession is:

…keenly aware that people are not watching talk shows or reading newspapers the way they used to. People around the world are more mobile, consuming video online and increasingly getting their most important health information from the Internet — and more specifically, YouTube.

Today’s announcement is shy on details of what this actually looks like beyond medical institutions releasing more videos. Graham does pose two challenges that YouTube will have to address given the wealth of information:

  • How do you know which information is credible? 
  • And how do you find sources that make the complicated medical jargon more accessible and easy-to-understand?

As such, we could be looking at a dedicated YouTube experience when people search for health information, while there might be an element of vetting.

It comes as the ongoing pandemic has led many people to search for COVID-19. On YouTube, panels that surface information from local health authorities, like the CDC, have served over 400 billion impressions since March. 

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