Epocrates reminds us that they're leaving | webOS Nation

Epocrates reminds us that they're leaving

by Riz Parvez Tue, 07 Jun 2011 1:07 pm EDT

Here we go again. The rollercoaster ride that is Epocrates for webOS shows no sign of resolution. Last December, the Epocrates team let the webOS community know that they would no longer be supporting our favorite OS, and suggested healthcare professionals in need of their app consider a competing platform. Soon after, an updated version of their app (presumably with a kill-switch installed) appeared in the catalog. The Epocrates app was then pulled entirely on February 1st, just before HP’s Think Beyond event. Now, with all signs pointing to the TouchPad launch as being imminent, Epocrates has sent another reminder that those users who still have the app installed will find it nonfunctional on Tuesday of next week. Bad timing? You don’t know the half of it.

For those of us working in healthcare, the months of June and July are particularly significant. Around the country, medical schools in large part graduate their classes during the month of June, with those new physicians beginning residency training on July 1st. Practically speaking, this marks the first occasion for many of these young professionals where they have (albeit barely) two pennies to rub together. Additionally, with most graduates moving to new locations to begin residency, a large number of them are also upgrading their tools of the trade, including their smartphones. Sure, for those of us committed to webOS there are plenty of other great reference options, but for new users the message is clear. Losing what is easily one of the 800lb gorillas of medical apps tells a whole cycle of healthcare professionals to avoid HP’s platform in favor of Android, iOS, or Blackberry. Tens of thousands of them.

We heard back in April from Richard Kerris at HP that they were working on bringing the app back to webOS, and Kerris' recent tweets assert the same,  but the lastest e-mail from Epocrates now includes the Veer, Pre3 and Touchpad in the list of devices that will not be supported. With the TouchPad launch likely to occur any day now, this suggests that those efforts have been unsuccessful.

In fairness to Epocrates, their message since December has never wavered: They’re leaving. What remains to be seen is whether HP, with all of their scale, has what it takes to change their minds now that we’re officially at the eleventh hour.