Feb 20, 2011

Youtube: unbranded health video channels on demand

The increased usage of healthcare videos on Youtube is rampant, it is taking on many forms, official and non, and is as complex a network as the whole Internet itself. The YouTube growth is surprisingly prevalent among both among consumersand heathcare professionals.

A 2010 study of Manhattan Research study reported in Med Ad News notes that "the majority of physicians visit YouTube ... nearly 2 in 3 physicians are using this website for personal or professional reasons."

Youtube healthcare videos include the polished, consumer unbranded health content from the Johnson & Johnson health channel. I get my leads for this channel from promotion by a Twitter feed from Robert Halper

Both consumer and professionals benefit from YouTube channels of major medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic Youtube channel.

More purely professionally oriented videos covering the latest studies and medical conventions are found on the Insider Medicine Channel
and The MD Conference Channel. What is most striking among these are the high volumes of views yet low number of memberships. The metrics are about viewing and downloading.

While there are channels for professional associations like American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American College of Rheumatology, content streams are by no means standardized. There can be:

* association announcements
* clinical cases
* training videos
* career advice
* information for pateints.

Then, aside from all of these "official" channels are thousands of independent healthcare professionals and interest groups generating content they deem valuable for others. Any Youtube search will show you that. For example, many professional journals are not quite on YouTube, but a search for "New England Journal of Medicine" will demonstrate the wide variety of posters.

What is the implication of all this?

* Professionals are on YouTube, posting and downloading videos, but in non-predictable ways.
* Search here is as important as elsewhere on the web.
* The situation will continue to evolve, perhaps consoliating, or remaining de-centralized.
* Advertising models still seem to be forming; some of these links have ads or sponsored links, others not.

Stay tuned.