Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And to that, Bart Simpson responded, “Not if you called ’em Stenchblossoms.” Names can matter, and domain names, in particular, can matter to those seeking health information online. In a consumer research study conducted by ghg, one respondent said, “.com is everything on the Internet from Apples to Zebras.” Right now, consumers don’t know if the .com site they are reading actually contains credible health information. But that is about to change.
In March, dotHealth LLC announced it will launch the new .health top-level domain. Between now and July 8th, any entities that hold an existing trademark in ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse have the opportunity to claim their .health domain before anyone else. During that time, if more than one trademark holder claims the specific name, an auction will be conducted at the end of the Sunrise/Trademark Access period.
“I wanted to build .health with the purpose of influencing the next phase of health information online,” explains José Ignacio Rasco, CEO of dotHealth. “An opportunity existed to create a new industry standard and become the home for health online. When you start to analyze how much people rely on the Internet for so many aspects of health, and you understand the size and scope of the industry, it becomes clear that .health needs to exist at the center of all of it.”
Another respondent in the ghg study said, “I wish that everything you pulled up were true, and came from a reputable source.” That is one of the goals Ignacio hopes to achieve with .health. Registrants who adopt .health domains will be subject to stringent terms and policies that ensure the integrity of the extension and deter misuse. The company also recently announced a partnership with LegitScript to monitor all .health domains for health-related content that is unsafe, illegal, or puts Internet users’ health and safety at risk.
“A .health domain gives you instant credibility,” Ignacio adds. “By automatically telling users what your brand stands for, you signal to them what they can expect on your website.”
Following the Sunrise/Trademark Access period, the Industry Access period will be open between July 20th and November 20th. During this time, qualified health industry brands, organizations, and individuals will be able to register .health domains before the general public. However, registration during this period requires a token—a non-transferable and single-use code which allows applicants to register a domain at the registrar partner of their choosing. Tokens will be distributed by health industry partners to their constituents, or you can apply for a token at https://get.health/apply.
Finally, the domain name will open to the public on Dec. 5th, but registrants are still held to .health’s terms and policies that safeguard the credibility of the domainspace. To learn more about how to register for a .health domain, go to: https://get.health/register.