Even doctors consult YouTube to learn how to perform operations they have not done before

Surely more than one of you have consulted YouTube to carry out repairs on household appliances, for the odd job at home or to repair the screen of a mobile phone or replace some component in a PC or laptop. Well, it turns out that YouTube not only helps us carry out these processes, but even doctors use it as a guide to learn how to do certain surgical operations before carrying them out.

The discovery is surprising and has caused experts to now show concern and call for much more specialized content filtering in this area. A doctor has in fact seen a vein, the Osso VR company has been launched, dedicated exclusively to creating video tutorials that help doctors prepare their operations in virtual environments before carrying them out in real operating rooms.

YouTube, help me operate some waterfalls

The idea occurred to Dr. Justin Barad, who often came across a procedure that he had not done or had to operate an instrument that he had never used in an operation. The solution was on YouTube, a service that became an educational complement and became part of its procedures in the operating room to guide you in real time while operating.

That prompted a project that has now become a startup reality. With Osso VR this doctor has made available to his colleagues by profession a platform in which to consult procedures and video tutorials with which to prepare his operations.

Barad's experience has become commonplace in the field of medicine. CNBC indicated how in its own investigation it had discovered thousands of videos on YouTube showing how various medical procedures are carried out. Some of these videos have more than a million visits and allow us to observe how cataracts are operated, how they give birth or how cosmetic surgery is performed.

These videos have ended up becoming a valuable tool for doctors, who upload their own procedures to help other doctors. A study carried out in early 2019 revealed that there are already more than 20,000 videos of this type, compared to 500 in 2009.

A fantastic idea that YouTube should moderate and filter

Doctors seem to be delighted with this type of aid, although some warn of the risks. Dr. Oliver Aalami, a cardiovascular surgeon at Stanford Hospital, indicated after watching a video and using it for an operation that "it was helpful, but I think some of those videos should be verified. A bit like Twitter does with their blue emblems. "

As with other types of tutorials, there are more reliable videos than others. Another recent study found that there were 68,000 videos related to a procedure called "distal radius fracture immobilization." The experts evaluated these contents based on their technical and educational level, and only 16 of those videos managed to pass the filter, and some of them did not offer verifiable information on who performed those procedures and their medical qualifications.

YouTube algorithms do not help either and sometimes recommend videos in which the chosen technique is not applied optimally, something that for example occurred with videos of the procedure called laparoscopic cholecystectomy in which half showed the use of techniques and maneuvers not especially safe.

That filtering and content curation process is very expensive, and only doctors can do it with guarantees. Google seems to be aware of the situation, they indicate on CNBC, and for example has begun to demand that descriptive titles be used in those videos. In a recent conference, the maximum person in charge in the health area of ​​Google, David Feinberg, highlighted that many surgeons end up going to YouTube, and he implied that need to manage this content.

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