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New Internet Domain Offers Secure e-mail, Website Development Service, and Oncology-Tailored Resources

New Internet Domain Offers Secure e-mail, Website Development Service, and Oncology-Tailored Resources

ABSTRACT: The health care industry increasingly relies on information technology for a growing variety of professional purposes. According to national surveys, medical professionals spend at least 50 minutes each night doing Internet-based research, and 21% of physicians use e-mail to communicate with their patients. In this "Spotlight on Technology," CC&E reports on an Internet provider that recently launched a new domain specifically designed to help oncologists enhance the clinical/business performance of their practices.

The Internet provider company MaxMD has introduced a new domain for physicians—called .md—that enables its users to create "personalized, permanent, and portable" identities online, Venkat Gullapalli, MD, chief medical officer for MaxMD, told ONI in an interview. "There are numerous .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, and other domains available for physician websites, but they do not identify physicians as belonging to the medical community," he said.

For an annual fee, he explained, users of .md get a registered .md domain name, a WebCard (a starter one-page website) and provider listing in the .md domain, and one .mdEmail account. (Additional e-mail accounts are available for purchase.) Also available at an additional cost are professional website development services. An important aspect of .md Email is that it has security features that help physicians comply with HIPAA privacy regulatory requirements, Dr. Gullapalli said.

class="head1"Free Service to Oncologists

MaxMD recently created the Online Medical Advancement Council (OMAC), an advisory panel made up of thought-leaders in the health care industry, to ensure that critical Internet-related issues are addressed in a timely fashion. One of the Council's first actions was to create the .md "Circle of Care" initiative that facilitates the donation of .md domain packages tailored for oncologists. Similar packages for other medical specialties are also planned.

Dr. Gullapalli said, "The practice of oncology has unique challenges because of the complex array of protocols and rapidly evolving scientific advances, as well as the multidisciplinary nature of cancer care. Our domain packages enhance research opportunities and facilitate communication among health care providers and between physicians and their patients. That's why we chose to implement the .md Circle of Care initiative for oncology first."

Oncologists enrolled in the .md Circle of Care initiative will receive an educational program that includes an .md domain name, a professional website, access to clinical information and resources, as well as secure HIPAA-enabled e-mail. "Our ultimate goal is to foster the growth of online medical education and communication through a forum dedicated to the specific needs of physicians," he said. Oncologists may receive their free .md Circle of Care package by visiting the website www.omac.md.

Medical Desktop

Dr. Gullapalli noted that MaxMD plans to launch a new platform this year called .md Medical Desktop, which will provide users with access to scientific and clinical data and membership in an online medical community. The .md Circle of Care initiative will include an oncology-specific .md Medical Desktop. Features of the oncology version will include:

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