YouTube opens up a verification program for healthcare professionals

It may be easier to find reliable health info from doctors, nurses and other providers.

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YouTube is attempting to make it easier for folks to find reliable and high-quality health information on the platform. It's opening up its health product features to certain healthcare professionals and information providers in the US. It started offering those features last year to educational institutions, public health departments, hospitals and government bodies. "This new step will allow us to expand to include high quality information from a wider group of healthcare channels," Dr. Garth Graham, the global head of YouTube Health, wrote in a blog post.

The features include labels under videos that clearly state the information is coming from a healthcare professional or accredited organization. When a user searches for a term such as "bipolar" or "breast cancer," they may see a carousel of videos under the label “From health sources” near the top of the search results.

YouTube says healthcare professionals can apply for the program starting today. They'll need to submit proof of their medical license and for their YouTube account to be in good standing. They'll also need to follow the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the National Academy of Medicine and the World Health Organization best practices for sharing health information. YouTube plans to expand the program to more markets and other types of medical specialties.

Helping people obtain credible health information from a verified professional is inherently a positive move. YouTube will still have to tread carefully with this program, given the COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation that has been rife on the platform over the last few years. Meanwhile, YouTube points out that people shouldn't consider health-related information they learn from verified professionals as medical advice (and nor will the videos apply to everyone). You'd still be best served to get in touch with a healthcare provider if you have a medical concern and to contact emergency services if the need arises.