Aetna’s decision to decommission CarePass signals the uphill battle healthcare providers face with early forays into the digital health and wellness platform space. But despite CarePass’ shuttering doors, Forrester contends these health-plan-owned, consumer-facing platforms are a step in the right direction toward mass consumer engagement.

Existing platforms are promising, with open APIs to connect members to a broad array of health services, promotion of standard data aggregation, and integration and collaboration with consumer-facing health and wellness software. But these early efforts, as Aetna proved, miss the mark with aggressive ambitions too early on in the game.

In new research, Forrester details the early efforts of four providers — Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Humana — and argues why health-plan-owned platform success will depend on strategic partnerships with new tech entrants like Apple and Samsung.

To learn more about this research, visit the eBusiness & Channel Strategy blog.