New health content is coming to YouTube
Today, YouTube is unveiling a new health partnerships team to address the evolving digital health needs of consumers and continue connecting people with credible health information. As part of this ongoing commitment to supporting credible health information, we will be working with organizations including the American Public Health Association, Cleveland Clinic, The Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Osmosis, Psych Hub, and the National Academy of Medicine. We’re working to make high-quality health content available for viewers around the world.
Led by Dr. Garth Graham, the team will further YouTube’s efforts to bring quality content from authoritative, evidence-based sources to be front-and-center on the platform. Please meet Dr. Garth Graham, Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships at YouTube.
Why did you become a doctor?
Garth Graham: “Growing up, I saw, firsthand, how important health and access to health information is. My parents emigrated to the United States from Jamaica so that my mom could take a job as a nurse in Miami, and day after day she would leave for the hospital to do the selfless work of treating her patients. But she did more than just treat them -- she fostered community with them, equipped them with the information they needed to understand their diagnoses, and encouraged them with helpful ways to improve their health going forward. My admiration for the work she did and how she positively impacted people’s lives was a large part of my decision to become a doctor.”
Where were you before YouTube and what led you here?
GG: “Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked in a number of areas of healthcare -- as a cardiologist treating patients, as a researcher educating people about public health, and as a member of the health policy community, advocating for improved healthcare. Prior to joining YouTube, I 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 both the Bush and Obama Administrations. I’ve also been President of the Aetna Foundation and served as the Assistant Dean for Health Policy and Chief of Health Services Research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Florida School of Medicine. For some, coming to YouTube may seem like an outlier in my resume, but I am excited to bring together all of the facets in my experience to serve as a bridge between the clinical world and YouTube.”
How do you see health education evolving through digital video?
GG: “As clinicians, we’re constantly looking for ways to move patient care forward and stay current with how the world around us is changing. Don’t let the outdated pagers fool you. We’re 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. For anyone who wants to be at the forefront of change in healthcare education, YouTube is an important part of this digital revolution.”
What is your vision for health content on YouTube?
GG: “My team’s mission is to empower people to live their healthiest lives through knowledge, support and inspiration. Most importantly, we want to ensure access to credible, evidence-based information from trusted sources. But with so much information out there, the question becomes: 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?”
How do you plan to bring additional credible content to the platform?
GG: “Well, the short answer is that my team is working hard to surface easy-to-understand medical information from some of the most respected organizations and clinicians in healthcare. Some of our newest collaborators include the American Public Health Association, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Osmosis, Psych Hub, and the National Academy of Medicine. They are creating high-quality health content for viewers around the world. Healthcare professionals are also a key part of the vision for health on YouTube. Building on the success of healthcare professionals on YouTube like Kati Morton, Doctor Mike (Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, DO) and Mama Doctor Jones, we have partnered with the Association for Healthcare Social Media to provide resources to healthcare professionals who use social media. Together, we will work to educate and empower new audiences with medical information on YouTube.”
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected how public health information is shared?
GG: “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that good communication is one of the most powerful tools in healthcare and it has never been more important to ensure valid information reaches people who need it most.
Health authorities around the world have a tremendous challenge in the months ahead to continue to educate people about the new COVID-19 vaccines. But the scale and reach of platforms like YouTube, that allow for engaging, easy-to-understand information to be shared easily and efficiently, can help meet that challenge and improve community health long into the future. Since March, we’ve served over 400 billion impressions of information panels that relate to COVID-19, and our creators have conducted more than 60 interviews with leading health officials, including Fat Joe’s conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Roshni Mukherjee’s discussion about how to manage stress during COVID-19 with Dr. Manoj Sharma. Creator health interviews have received more than 65 million views worldwide, and we look forward to more of these conversations in the year ahead.”
GG: “As a clinician myself, I can’t tell you how exciting it is that patients will be able to arm themselves with the right information so that they can ask the right questions of their doctors and take a more active role in their own health, overall. For years, medical information has mainly existed in an “ivory tower” - accessible only to clinicians, academics, scientists, or anyone not intimidated by medical jargon in Latin. We want to change this. We want to make public health truly PUBLIC. This is the first step in that direction with many more to come. I look forward to providing you with more updates in the coming weeks and months. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy.”