The program’s goal is to help not-for-profits translate scientific information in a way that’s engaging and approachable for the public, said Dr. Garth Graham, director and global head of healthcare and public health at Google, which owns YouTube.
Social media companies and health systems alike have sought to address a deluge of false information related to COVID-19—dubbed an “infodemic” by the World Health Organization—and other health issues. YouTube last year banned false claims about vaccines that have been approved by health authorities, such as flu and measles immunizations.
Boston-based Mass General Brigham, Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic, the American Public Health Association and the New England Journal of Medicine previously partnered with YouTube to publish health-related content, which YouTube has said it prioritizes in its search algorithms.
The Satcher Health Leadership Institute started working with Google in 2020, when the institute was awarded a grant to create a COVID-19 health equity database, which included data about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths broken out by race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and other demographic factors.
Through the new program, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute will develop its YouTube channel, which today has 268 subscribers and 29,580 views across its videos.
The institute is still refining its strategy for YouTube, but it could be a good way to engage a younger audience, said Daniel Dawes, executive director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. The institute is also considering new approaches, such as animated videos, and will assess what styles of video appeal to different audiences.
“Our audience has been an older group of existing public health and healthcare leaders,” Dawes said. “I’d like to see us really expand our reach.”