At YouTube, we're committed to connecting you with health content from authoritative sources to help you stay informed and live your healthiest life. We've developed several health features to give you more context on the health content you find on YouTube.
The health features below may not be available in all countries/regions and languages. We're working to bring these features to more countries/regions and languages.
Information panels providing health source context
When you watch a YouTube video on a health-related topic, you may notice an information panel providing context on the source underneath the video. This panel is meant to give you additional information to help you better understand the sources of health content that you find and watch on YouTube.
To identify which health sources are eligible for this feature, we used the principles and definitions developed by a panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). NAM is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organisation that brings together top experts in health, medicine and biomedical science to provide unbiased, evidence-based guidance about health and science.
The expert panel convened by NAM published foundational principles that can be used to guide identification of potentially credible online health sources in a paper called Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media: Principles and Attributes. The principles for authoritative health sources in this paper include that sources should be science-based, objective, transparent and accountable.
As we begin to adopt principles for authoritative health sources, we are starting with organisations with pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanisms such as:
- Healthcare organisations
- Educational institutions
- Public health departments
- Government organisations
Vetting mechanisms include accreditation, academic journal indexing and government accountability rules. For more information, see figure 1 in the paper.
The first step of YouTube's work will focus on sources with pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanisms as defined below
|Health source type currently eligible||Pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanism||Expert panel reference|
Example: Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc).
Example: Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care).
|Public health departments||Public health accreditation board||Appendix B|
Academic journal indexing
Example: health and medical journals 'must meet clear standards for 'scope and coverage, editorial policies and processes', scientific and methodological rigour, production and administration and impact'.
|Government organisations||Government accountability rules||Box 7|
Note: This feature is our first step towards identifying and designating health sources on YouTube. Current sources are not exhaustive of these categories. We're continuing the work to include sources based on these principles and attributes. We're working on ways to expand eligibility to more types of health sources in these panels.
Additionally, these information panels providing health source context are only available in the US now. We plan to expand these panels to other countries/regions and languages. As we expand, we'll work with local health organisations on how to apply the paper's principles and definitions locally.
Health content shelf
If you search on YouTubeon for a topic related to a specific physical or mental health condition, you may notice a shelf with health content in your search results. The health content shelf will include videos related to the health topic you searched for.
Our algorithm uses various signals to select the videos in the health content shelf. We also use the principles outlined by experts convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to inform which channels are eligible for the shelf. Right now only accredited health organisations, academic medical journals and government entities are eligible for these shelves.
Health content shelves may not be available for all health conditions in search results. We're working to include more health conditions in the shelves and expand eligibility to more channels.
Health information panels in search
When you search on YouTube for health-related topics, such as COVID-19, you may notice a health information panel in your search results. These panels show info like symptoms, prevention and treatment options. This info is from authoritative sources like the World Health Organization and other medical institutions.
Health information panels also link you to the institutions' websites to learn more. We give you this context so you have locally relevant, authoritative info on health-related topics.
In some countries/regions, you may also notice links to clinically confirmed self-assessments from Google or local health authorities. Based on your self-assessment answers, you'll get more info on what kind of support or medical care might be appropriate for you.
Where the info comes from
We make sure the info in YouTube health information panels comes from government agencies, health ministries and other respected medical institutions. We'll continue to develop these panels and include more organisations and health-related topics in the future.
When to consult a healthcare professional
Health-related info on YouTube doesn't apply to everyone and isn't medical advice. If you have a medical concern, make sure that you get in touch with a healthcare provider. If you think that you may have a medical emergency, get in touch with your doctor or call your local emergency number.
Info that YouTube stores about your searches
Health features only surface if your current search or the video you're watching is related to a health topic. Your watch and search history does not trigger these features, but if you'd like to find and remove your searches, go to your data in YouTube. You can also learn how to view and delete search history.
Report incorrect info
If there are issues with the health features on YouTube, or you have a suggestion, you can:
- Submit feedback via More in the panels, or
- Send us feedback using the menu from your profile picture.