Get info on health-related content

Note: If you would like your channel to be eligible for YouTube's health features, learn more here.

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 features to give you more context about the health content that you find on YouTube.

The 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 more info to help you better understand the sources of health content that you find and watch on YouTube.

To identify eligible health sources for this feature, we started in the US with a set of principles and definitions developed by a panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and reviewed by the American Public Health Association (APHA). These foundational principles were published in a paper called Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media: Principles and Attributes.

As we expand outside the United States, we're referencing the work done by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2022, the WHO and NAM convened a meeting of global interdisciplinary experts to review and validate the principles developed for the US for global application. To expand these efforts globally, we may also reference work done by other agencies, such as in the UK.

The latest phase of our work allows us to identify credible sources of health info among individuals and non-accredited organisations. The principles for identifying credible sources were developed by a panel of experts convened in a collaboration between the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), NAM and WHO.

The principles for authoritative health sources developed in the respective papers maintain that sources should be science-based, objective, transparent and accountable. YouTube used these principles to identify types of health sources that can be considered authoritative:

  • Organisations with pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanisms (including healthcare organisations, educational institutions, public health departments and government organisations). Vetting mechanisms include accreditation, academic journal indexing and government accountability rules. For more info, review Figure 1 in the NAM paper.
  • Individuals and non-accredited organisations with health-focused YouTube channels. Individuals and organisations have to apply and pass a series of eligibility checks to get an information panel. As part of that application process, we check that the individual or an individual from the non-accredited organisation who has oversight and review of the channel's content is a licensed healthcare professional. Currently, this category of health source is eligible to surface in a limited number of countries.

Organisations with pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanisms

Organisations with pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanisms. You can review the section below for more details on content from the UK.
Health source type currently eligible Pre-existing, standardised vetting mechanism Expert panel references

Educational institutions, for example*

  • Schools of medicine
  • Schools of nursing
  • Schools of public health

* not all examples are included in all countries/regions

Accreditation process

Example: Accrediting organisation for medical schools.

Appendix B in NAM paper

Healthcare organisations, for example*

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics

* not all examples are included in all countries/regions

Accreditation process

Example: Accrediting organisation for hospitals.

Appendix B in NAM paper
Medical journals

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'.

Page 12 in NAM paper
Government organisations Government accountability rules Box 7 in NAM paper

Individuals and non-accredited organisations with health-focused YouTube channels

Individuals and non-accredited organisations with health-focused YouTube channels.
Health source type currently eligible External mechanism used for eligibility Expert panel references

Individual licensed health professionals, for example*

  • Licensed doctors
  • Licensed nurses
  • Licensed mental health professionals

* not all examples are included in all countries/regions

Individual must have an active licence to practise their field of expertise in a relevant region

Example: Licensing body for doctors

Table 1 in CMSS/NAM/WHO paper

Non-accredited organisations represented by licensed healthcare professionals, for example*

  • Health charities
  • Health publishers
  • Health companies 

* not all examples are included in all countries/regions

Organisation must be represented by an individual licensed healthcare professional with oversight and review of the organisation's YT content

 

Example: Licensing body for doctors

 

Note: This is our first step towards identifying and designating authoritative health sources on YouTube. The current health source types are not exhaustive of these categories and feature eligibility is subject to change. 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.

Note: If an information panel providing health source context has the incorrect label or if a health entity has an incorrect channel or no channel associated with it, submit feedback using #healthinfo.

Note: The 'WHO online consultation meeting to discuss global principles for identifying credible sources of health information on social media' by the World Health Organization is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

For the UK

In the UK, we worked with the National Health Service (NHS) to develop an approach for informing which channels would be eligible for an information panel. The NHS is the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems in the UK. This approach included the NHS: 1) reviewing the principles developed by the expert panel convened by the NAM for the UK context and 2) publishing a standard for creating health content, which outlines essential requirements and best practice guidance for organisations to follow in order to create high-quality health content.

As a starting point in the UK, only NHS organisations are being invited to self-certify against the NHS standard for creating health content. By completing the self-certification process, an NHS organisation channel will be eligible for information panels indicating NHS credibility.

This approach for the UK was reviewed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC). The AoMRC concluded that this approach helps to give a solid basis for determining the authoritativeness of health sources on social media platforms.

Health content shelf

If you search on YouTube 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 that you searched for and may include content from other countries/regions that match your search language.

We use the principles developed by experts convened by the NAM, WHO and CMSS to establish which channels are eligible for the shelf. These principles helped identify an initial list of eligible sources for accredited health organisations, academic medical journals and government entities, and are considered in the application process for individual licensed health professionals and non-accredited organisations.

In the UK, the main government entity for health is the NHS and, as such, all NHS organisations will be initially eligible. NHS organisation channels must also self-certify against the NHS standard for creating health content to be eligible for the shelf.

In France, doctors and nurses must be registered with the Répertoire Partagé des Professions de Santé (RPPS). You can read more about the registration process and criteria on their website.

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 that 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 that 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.

First aid info in search

For selected health conditions, the First aid from health sources shelf may be pinned to the top of search results. The shelf will feature easy-to-follow videos with the goal of helping people find first aid resources from authoritative sources in moments of need without reading or listening to complex instructions.

The shelf will show up for a variety of first aid topics, such as CPR, choking and performing the Heimlich manoeuvre, bleeding, heart attacks, strokes, seizures and more.

The shelf is currently only available in the United States in English and Spanish.

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 that 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 your search history.

Report incorrect info

Send feedback if there are issues with the health features on YouTube or if you have a suggestion:

  • Submit feedback via More in the panels or
  • Send us feedback using the menu from your profile picture.
  • Please include '#healthinfo' in your feedback if you have any of the following feedback about the information panel providing health source context:
    • A channel has an incorrect information panel.
    • An information panel is on the incorrect channel for a given health entity.
    • You believe that a channel should have a health source context info panel and it does not – please note that individuals and non-accredited organisations with health-focused YouTube channels will need to apply for access.
Note: You can only submit feedback on the health content shelves using the menu from your profile picture.

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