Internet registry company dotHealth today officially released the .health domain for medical websites. The .health domain works just like .com or other top level domain extensions, though sites can only register for one after being validated as a qualified member of the health industry.
Some of the largest names in medicine and tech, including Pfizer and Google, have already registered for .health domains. Jose Ignacio Rasco, CEO of dotHealth, had this to say:
While education has .edu and organizations have .org, there has never been an identifiable place people could go for focused, meaningful health information online. Searching for health information is the 3rd most common online activity, so we’re excited to address this problem and have .health be the home for health online.
The goal of the new domain name is to provide consumers with a trustworthy identifier when seeking online information about health-care. Sort of like when people visit a .gov website they have the reasonable expectation that someone in the government curates the information on that site — only for hospitals and such.
LegitScript, an internet watchdog, will provide oversight to ensure sites adopting the extension provide legitimate medical information. If dotHealth and LegitScript do provide a safe and secure domain, consumers could become more empowered to do their own online research. When it comes to health-care, trustworthiness is important.
Currently, websites in the health industry are spread out over .com, .edu, and .org. This leads to consumer confusion, a problem the new domain should help with. Here’s hoping .health helps make the medical community a little more streamlined and safe online.
This is a much needed addition to a world-wide-web that already has .biz, .xxx, and hundreds of other extensions in it’s repertoire.