Posted in #HCSM

YouTube: A Missed Opportunity For Patient Education

Last month YouTube announced on its blog that it has hit a milestone – people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.  That’s  a huge amount of time spent watching diverse content on the channel.  Here are some more staggering stats to consider.

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YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection. YouTube also has live-streaming options and social tools, which it’s expanding as it works to keep in line with evolving consumer trends.

Mobile devices now account for 70% of all time spent on YouTube by adults in the US, according to recent research from comScore. Audience reach is bigger on mobile than on desktop for 99 of the top 100 YouTube channels in the United States.

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Mobile viewing is especially popular with younger adults (age 18-34) and women, the analysis found. YouTube mobile viewers tend to watch shorter-form videos than desktop viewers do. However, mobile viewers watch nearly three times as many videos per month, on average.

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As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but recent studies show it is not being used to its full potential. A 2013 study which examined the effectiveness of YouTube as a source of medical information on heart transplantation found it time-consuming  to find high-quality videos and recommended that more authoritative videos by trusted sources should be posted for dissemination of reliable information. Similarly a 2015 study found that in YouTube videos related to skin cancer, there was a missed opportunity for cancer prevention and control.

These findings notwithstanding, there are some good examples of medical organizations who are already using YouTube to communicate health information. Mayo Clinic in particular stands out, with 50,917 subscribers to its channel and over 31,000,000 video views. 

If you don’t already have a YouTube channel for your practice, perhaps now is the time to consider it. Check out this article by Sendible which has some useful tips on how to optimise your YouTube channel for success.

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