HP working to bring back Epocrates? | webOS Nation

HP working to bring back Epocrates?

by Riz Parvez Fri, 15 Apr 2011 10:43 am EDT

Being a supporter of an up an coming mobile platform is quite the rollercoaster ride. A little over a year ago, Epocrates’ webOS app debuted in the App Catalog, amid much rejoicing webOS healthcare pratitioners everywhere. However, there were hard times ahead for Palm, and citing “relatively low interest,” the folks at Epocrates announced in December of 2010, less than a year after it’s release, that the app would be pulled from the catalog. Additionally, existing copies would cease to function in May of 2011.

This lead to a great deal of discussion both among the writers at PreCentral and the community at large. Epocrates, to those in healthcare, is without question an “anchor” application. Think of it like Angry Birds, ShopSavvy or Shazam. It’s one of the handful of apps that fall into the category of must have for a mobile OS to consider itself relevant. Certainly, there are plenty of excellent alternatives still available in the app catalog, with the promise of continued support by those developers, but for a platform whose future is still in question losing Epocrates was still a pretty big hit.

Bearing that in mind, the consensus was that HP should and their proverbial “bags of money,” should intervene to keep big names like Epocrates from disappearing. Apart from a depressing reminder of thier departure just before Think Beyond on February 9th, things have been relatively quiet since then, with the clock now approaching the eleventh hour with just over two weeks to go before the kill switch is thrown and Epocrates on webOS is no more. Being aware of this, @MrKalEl, a member of the medical community and webOS user reached out on Twitter to Richard Kerris, VP of Worldwide Developer Relations to see if anything was being done, and received a very encouraging reply: "[We're] working getting them back"

While this is far from a guarantee, we're hopeful that he wouldn’t have tweeted about it he wasn’t optimistic, and certainly it’s heartening news that Kerris and company see the importance of the healthcare sector and are taking strides to make sure webOS remains relevant there, and also the importance of doing what it takes to keep big names on board in general. Time will ultimately tell what becomes of this, but for the moment, it seems that rollercoaster is again gaining some significant altitude. At the very least, its evidence that Palm’s Developer Relations Team is still firing on all cylinders. Hopefully similar efforts are being made at courting other landmark app developers as well.