TLDs and the HealthCare Industry
February 16, 2013, Madison, WI - In 2012, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, held an open application process inviting organizations around the world to apply to create new Top Level Domains. A Top Level Domain (TLD) is the text to the right of the final dot in a domain name. For example, .COM is the most popular TLD today.
Over 1,900 applications for new TLDs were filed, including fifteen TLDs targeted at participants in the Healthcare industry and two branded healthcare TLDs for a leading insurance and health care company. How will new TLDs impact the HealthCare industry, and what can you do to prepare?
Wellpoint and the .ANTHEM TLD
WellPoint, Inc., based in Indianapolis, IN, is a leading health plan provider. In 2012, Wellpoint, Inc. applied for two TLDs at a price of $185,000 per TLD application: .anthem and .Caremore. Wellpoint, Inc. later withdrew its application for .CAREMORE, probably because a generic application was filed for .CARE, and has received a partial refund.
Wellpoint, Inc., is moving forward with its application for .ANTHEM. The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand name is used by WellPoint in 11 states for insurance and health care products and services.
WellPoint, Inc., describes the mission of the .ANTHEM TLD in its application to ICANN as follows:
.Anthem Security Advantages
As the only Health Plan provider in the United States with its own TLD, WellPoint is positioned well to market itself as a more secure and tech-savy insurance provider compared to the competition. Wellpoint already has a history of using technology as a competitive advantage in the Healthcare market. A quick glance at the Wellpoint home page as of February 16, 2013 shows that on the home page alone, Wellpoint touts its technology innovations three times.
Wellpoint's main website is currently located at www.wellpoint.com. It is highly likely that, once the .anthem Top Level Domain is approved and is operational, Wellpoint may move its main corporate website so that it resides within the .anthem Top Level Doamin. For example, as early as 2014, Wellpoint.com may move to Healthcare.anthem or Health.anthem or even Care.anthem.
By moving to the Wellpoint Top Level Domain, Wellpoint will be able to market itself as the most secure Healthcare company. Even if the .anthem Top Level Domain is not - from a technical perspective - any more secure than the .COM Top Level Domain, there are still several security advantages to switching to a branded TLD, which Wellpiont will be able to bring to its customers attention:
- Wellpoint could help combat phishing attacks by advising customers to always look for the .anthem Top Level Domain
- Wellpoint could advise customers to only open emails that come from the .anthem Top Level Domain
.Anthem Marketing Advantages
There are no limits to the number of domains that Wellpoint may create within the .anthem Top Level domain. As a result, Wellpoint will have greater flexibility in future Marketing and promotional campaigns, since there will be no domain that is "taken" by someone else within the .anthem Top Level Domain, because Wellpoint will have full control over all domains created within .anthem. Future Marketing communications messages may be sent from Marketing@Wellpoint.com.
Generic HealthCare TLDs
In addition to the Branded .ANTHEM TLD, there were 15 Health-related TLDs which were applied for by various companies as part of this application round. Some of these, such as the .CARE TLD, will place no restrictions on who may purchase domain names within the TLD. Other prospective health-related TLDs, such as .PHARMACY, will plan on limiting the purchase of domain names based on specific criteria.
The .CARE TLD
The .CARE TLD is an ideal TLD for health care providers, insurers, clinics, and others providing personal care services. Goose Cross (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant for the .CARE TLD. Donuts, Inc., a venture-capital funded company, applied for more TLDs than any other applicant. If approved by ICANN, Registry services for the .CARE TLD will be provided by Demand Media Europe Limited (DMEL), one of the leading Registry services providers. Goose Cross intends to operate the .CARE TLD as an unrestricted Registry, meaning that there will be no restrictions placed on who may buy domain names within the .CARE TLD.
The .CLINIC TLD
The .CLINIC TLD is intended as an unrestricted TLD, meaning that there will be no restrictions placed on who may buy domain names within the .Clinic TLD. The .CLINIC TLD is targeted at health care centers, veterinary clinics, hospitals, medical practitioners, as well as others providing non-medical related clinics, such as car clinics and others with an interest in the word “clinic" . Goose Park, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant for the .CLINIC TLD.
The .DENTAL TLD
The .DENTAL namespace is ideal for dentists or those with an interest in dentistry and dental products and services. The .DENTAL TLD is planned as an unrestricted TLD, meaning that there will not be any restrictions placed on who may purchase domain names within the .DENTAL TLD. Tin Birch, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the applicant for the .DENTAL TLD.
The .DENTIST TLD
Domains within the .DENTIST TLD could be used by dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, periodontists, ratings websites, health care companies, or others with an interest in the word “dentist". Outer Lake, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the applicant for the .DENTIST TLD, and intends to run .DENTIST as an unrestricted TLD.
The .DIET TLD
There were three companies that applied to create the .DIET TLD. Each of the three companies, if approved, intends to operate the .DIET TLD as an unrestricted Registry. Only one company can receive approval to operate .DIET, so it will be interesting to watch as these applications proceed through the ICANN application process. In the event that all three applicants are found financially and technologically capable of operating a TLD, and in the absence of any successful legal rights claim to the word “Diet", the applicants will be invited to bid against each other for the right to operate the .DIET TLD.
The .FIT TLD
There were two companies that applied to create the .FIT TLD. Each of these companies, if approved, intends to operate the .FIT TLD as an unrestricted Registry. Domain names within the .FIT TLD can be used by health care practitioners and health care companies to provide fitness information and incentive programs to end users.
The .FITNESS TLD
The .FITNESS TLD can be used by health care insurance companies and by health care practitioners to provide information about fitness to end users. Brice Orchard, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant for the .FITNESS TLD. Brice Orchard, LLC intends to operate the .FITNESS TLD as an unrestricted Registry.
The .HEALTH TLD
The .HEALTH TLD is the ideal namespace for health care plan providers and practitioners to create corporate websites and informational websites related to health. There were four companies that applied to create the .HEALTH TLD. If approved, each of the four companies intends to operate the .HEALTH TLD as an unrestricted Registry.
The .HEALTHCARE TLD
The .HEALTHCARE TLD is targeted at health insurance providers and health practitioners. Silver Glen, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant that applied to create the .HEALTHCARE TLD. Silver Glen, LLC intends to operate the .HEALTHCARE TLD as an unrestricted Registry.
The .HIV TLD
The goal of the .HIV TLD is to raise global awareness of HIV. Funds from domain name registrations will be collected and used for charitable causes aiming to raise awareness and reduce the stigmatization of people affected by HIV and AIDS.
The .HOSPITAL TLD
Ruby Pike, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant for the .HOSPITAL TLD. Ruby Pike, LLC intends to operate the .HOSPITAL TLD as an unrestricted Registry.
The .MED TLD
There were four applicants for the .MED TLD: Medistry LLC, DocCheck AG, HEXAP SAS, and Charleston Road Registry Inc. (Google). All of these applicants have stated their intention of limiting the availability of .MED domain names to those who meet specific criteria.
- Medistry LLC intends to make .MED Domain names available only to those who can prove their qualifications to integrate clinical and hospital care with research and education. Domain names in .MED will be available via a Request for Proposal process.
- DocCheck AG intends to make .MED domain names available only to those who can provide proof of formal or long-standing training and/or experience in any field of medicine.
- HEXAP SAS intends to make .MED domain names available only to licensed health care professionals.
- Charleston Road Registry Inc. (owned by Google Inc.) has also stated its intention of limiting registrations within the .MED TLD to only those who meet certain criteria, however, Charleston Road Registry Inc. did not include specific criteria in its application to ICANN.
The .MEDICAL TLD
Steel Hill, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant for the .MEDICAL TLD. The .MEDICAL TLD is targeted at doctors, nurses, hospitals, medical practices, scientists, and others with an interest in the Medical field, such as ratings websites and healthcare companies. Steel Hill, LLC, if it receives approval from ICANN to create the .MEDICAL TLD, intends to operate the .MEDICAL TLD as an unrestricted Registry.
The .PHARMACY TLD
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has applied to create the .PHARMACY TLD to provide a trusted namespace for legitimate pharmacies. According to the application filed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy with ICAN, all registrants within the .PHARMACY TLD will be "vetted prior to registration to ensure that they meet all applicable regulatory standards, including pharmacy licensure, drug authenticity, and valid prescription requirements."
The .SURGERY TLD
Tin Avenue, LLC (a Donuts, Inc. company) was the sole applicant for the .SURGERY TLD. The .SURGERY TLD is targeted at doctors, nurses, hospitals, surgical centers and others with an interest in surgery. Tin Avenue, LLC intends to operate the .SURGERY TLD as an unrestricted Registry.
New TLDs and Health Care
Domains within new TLDs such as .CARE and .HEALTH will operate in the same way that .com domains do today. Domain names within new TLDs will be globally accessible, and can be used for externally facing websites. Domains within new TLDs may also be used to create secured websites, such as a members-only websites or an Intranets. Domain names can be used for email, FTP or other electronic communications, and can be used in conjunction with other products such as SSL certificates, security scan services, or privacy services.
Prepare for the Next Generation of Marketing
New TLDs offer tremendous potential in terms of Marketing opportunities. TLDs such as .Care and .Med can help companies position themselves as tech-savy and can offer branding and promotional benefits. New TLDs such as .Pharmacy offer additional benefits, including the trust that comes from knowing that domain names within the .Pharmacy TLD are sold only to legitimate, licensed pharmacies.
To help prepare for the next generation in online Marketing, www.DotAnything.co offers news and pre-registration services for domain names within new TLDs such as .BUY, .SHOP, .WEB, .SITE and more. You can’t buy domain names within new TLDs yet; but you can pre-register for them at www.DotAnything.co.
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