The sorry state of Palm Pre medical apps

By Brian Dolan

Palm PreWhen the Palm Pre App Catalog first launched in early June it had no medical apps to offer, but among the few applications the App Catalog launched with was an emulator app by MotionApps that promised to bring applications from old Palm platforms to the new Pre. In other words, if you are a health practitioner who has relied on a Palm Pilot for the past ten years, now you can upgrade to a new Palm Pre and use the same applications with more or less the same user experience.

This is set to change soon -- hopefully. Palm recently announced that 1.8 million applications have been downloaded from its App Catalog, which is a surprising figure given the relatively few apps (in the dozens) available. The number of Palm Pre devices sold is also only in the hundreds of thousands. Last week Palm announced that its Mojo software development kit (SDK) was now available to any developer. Up until now the SDK was only available to a limited number of developers, so now it's time to see if developers are still interested in developing applications for the Pre platform. On the medical app front, competition is sparse for the Pre. We hope to hear about some new Palm Pre medical apps soon.

Meanwhile, The Palm Doc Chronicles blog has done a nice job of keeping up with all things Palm-related for healthcare workers, including which of the old Palm applications work on the Palm Pre through the emulator application. While their list of proven apps is still rather short, it serves as a snapshot of the only medical applications available for the Palm Pre.

Read on for a slideshow of the applications from legacy Palm OS devices that now work on the Palm Pre through the emulator app. It's never been more true: What's old is new again for Palm in the medical world.

Epocrates Palm OS Palm PreEpocrates Essentials -- From the company: Our medical editors, in collaboration with other respected institutions, have selected the most critical drug, disease, and diagnostic information you need for patient care, and organized it in one really easy-to-use, intelligently linked product. We believe that makes it a must-have mobile resource for busy healthcare professionals. (Most if not all Epocrates Palm OS apps for should work for Pre.)