Medical Information on YouTube


With the rise of YouTube and the presence of video cameras in phones, recording videos and making them public has never been easier. This technology extends to medicine. Patients are increasingly proactive in searching for health and medical information, and doctors, hospitals, and other medical centers are responding.

The National Library of Medicine now takes health information to the next level with the launch of its YouTube channel.

The channel is just getting started, but its video collection already includes information about current exhibits at the NLM and information about the NLM itself, which celebrates its 175th birthday this year.

The site allows unregistered users to watch videos, but only registered users may post videos. These videos are useful to physicians and patients alike.

But the real bonus for information seekers is that the NLM channel also includes links to other National Institutes of Health video channels on YouTube, including the following:

National Cancer Institute:  Videos discuss current cancer research in general, and others focus on more specific topics, such as pediatric cancer.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Video topics range from information about LASIK surgery to keeping food safe during a power failure.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA’s channel includes short videos about mental health programs and services, and in-depth video interviews with experts on certain topics, such as depression in older adults.

The NLM channel also provides links to the National Institute of Mental Health, Veterans Health Administration, and AIDS.gov channels.

Another site, Video MD,  features videos specifically for patient education and aimed at a general audience. The site is not related to the NLM or any government website, but it was created by physicians for the benefit of patients. The site includes videos from the United States and Canada, and topics range from a 2-minute news report on the benefits of getting an annual flu shot to a 5-minute video that educates patients about gestational diabetes.

Check out this FDA video about LASIK surgery as an example of the video medical information now available on YouTube:

Brought to you by The Pulse, part of the Gale’s Health and Wellness Resource Center a library premium database for health information.

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