Why did Aetna pull the brakes on its CarePass mobile platform?


Since Aetna announced the closing of its CarePass mobile platform last month, industry experts have been trying to understand the cause of the breakdown, and whether the CarePass situation bodes badly for other insurer-led mobile engagement initiatives, MobiHealthNews reported.

MobiHealthNews gathered 10 reasons that may have caused Aetna (NYSE: AET) to shutdown CarePass. Here's a summary of five of those reasons.

1. People don't trust their personal info with insurers: Just 43 percent of patients trust their insurance company, while 38 percent distrust it and 19 percent are neutral, a 2012 survey found. So it's likely that Aetna's members were wary of sharing their information with the insurer.

2. CarePass failed to engage its users: Although CarePass had many successes, it seems its user engagement remained low. For example, CarePass partners didn't receive new users from the platform. "When you talk to people associated with it you hear that they couldn't get the user numbers, so they repositioned it for employers, but that apparently didn't work either," Forrester analyst Peter Mueller told VentureBeat. "The market wasn't ready for it."

3. CarePass was hard to use: CarePass's average rating on iTunes was 2 stars out of 5 stars. Among the reviews, people complained that it was hard to use and had many download problems.

4. Aetna didn't conduct enough analytics: Aetna focused heavily on collecting and storing data from all the apps available on CarePass, but it likely didn't emphasize analytics enough. As such, CarePass was simply a large data aggregator, which didn't compel people to actually buy the app.

5. Aetna had no return on investment: Because Aetna made CarePass free and available for all healthcare consumers, it wasn't sustainable in the for-profit business. That likely made it unattractive to Aetna to keep funding the project without receiving any profit in return.

To learn more:
- read the MobiHealthNews article
- see the VentureBeat article

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