Subject-specific domain names have many advantages. Internet addresses are proliferating: Domain registration in the .com and .net domains topped 50 million in 2005, according to Zooknic, a project that tracks use
It's too early to tell whether the new medical domain will take off and become part of the public consciousness, but if it does, it could offer a new range of opportunities for communicating with physicians and patients. Certainly the experiment is promising enough that pharma marketers need to be aware of it—and perhaps start thinking about addresses they anticipate needing in the future.
Out of Moldova
The appeal to physicians of the letters "md" is obvious. "When doctors see the .md, they are immediately reminded of all the hard work and training it took them to earn their degree," says Seanne Murray, senior vice president of business development and strategic partnerships for MaxMD, the company that markets .md. "It makes them feel valued to have their own separate online identity." Still, when the system of top-level domain names was created, .md was assigned not to physicians, but to the former Soviet state of Moldova.
Moldova may own .md, but that doesn't mean that physicians can't use it as well. MaxMD has licensed the right to market .md in more than 90 countries (though not in Moldova itself). The company's goal is to create a full-fledged online community of healthcare providers. For now, it is pursuing that goal by developing a range of services designed to meet specific physician needs.
Already available are Web design and hosting for physician practices that want their own sites, and an e-mail service, using proprietary software created by BlueTie, designed to be compliant with the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The e-mail service includes spam and virus filtering, secure encrypted communication of confidential information, full audit capability, and access control for commonly used electronic documents.