The new domain name registration will be available to providers, pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, and other healthcare-related organizations.
The Miami-based company behind the .co domain is launching .health, a top-level domain extension for online health properties. The company, dotHealth LLC, aims to provide uniform recognition for health products, services, and information.
Potential .health domain users include hospitals, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical associations, among others.
"We are designing .health to be the new industry standard for websites in health and wellness. At dotHealth, we are committed to providing value to the health industry by meeting a need that has long existed for health information online," dotHealth's CEO, Jose Ignacio Rasco, said in a statement.
The company says it wants to ensure that the .health websites are safe and reliable. Registrants who adopt .health domains will be subject to "stringent terms and policies that ensure the integrity of the extension and deter misuse" that are being developed with the assistance of an advisory board made up of health and technology experts, the company says.
The phased launch of .health will include a sunrise/trademark access phase from May 8 through July 7, which will allow entities that hold an existing trademark in ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse to get the first opportunity to obtain a .health domain.
During the industry access token phase from July 20 through November 30, qualified health industry brands, organizations, and people will be able to receive a single-use token through dotHealth, which they can use at any participating registrar to register their domain. Applications for the tokens are being accepted now.
Open registrations to the public begins on December 5.
"We live in an age where we receive so much information, and we need to distill what is helpful to us. The .health domain extension will provide a new level of confidence for those seeking information about health," said Rasco.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.