Recently, I attended both the inaugural ViVE conference in Miami, FL, as well as the perennial healthcare IT industry conference, HIMSS 22 in Orlando, FL. To say the least, it was eye-opening, exhilarating, yet exhausting. In this part one series, we will take a look at trends and takeaways from ViVE
Let’s start with ViVE, which is certainly the newest and trendiest healthtech conference in town. And it sure is the cool event in town—I mean you are greeted with a fruit smoothie while a live DJ spins electronic music in the check-in hall.
Am I at a Conference or a Party?
The event attracted not only the hottest healthtech startups and giants in the industry, but also venture capital funders, and health provider IT executives, as it brought in the power of the CHIME network. Knowing that it was produced in part by the same team as HLTH, I expected a similar vibe—which it delivered.
I truly enjoyed the combination of engaging thought leadership talks, interspersed with discovering healthtech companies in the exhibit halls, and of course, the in-person networking, bumping into and meeting with colleagues and friends in the healthtech ecosystem. Similar to HLTH, the Hosted Buyers program provides attendees with the opportunity to meet with at least eight vendors in a speed dating-style forum.
Headliners from Consumer Technology Giants
Even though this was the first ViVE conference, the presence of large players in the healthcare and healthtech industry was omnipresent. Leaders from Cerner and Epic were both strolling around the floors, mingling with other industry leaders from CVS Health and Amazon.
- These big companies used the show to make some large announcements including:
Amazon Pharmacy’s new prescription discount savings card available to select BlueCross BlueShield members called MedsYourWay;
- Google Care Studio previewing Conditions, an AI and natural language processing feature that helps summarize physician’s notes; and
- Former Livongo executives launching Homeward, a startup focused on increased access to primary and specialty care in rural communities.
That being said, there still was a mix of smaller, early-stage companies on the show floor. StartUp Health brought its portfolio of companies, along with a few other accelerators from both providers and vendors.
What is Techquity?
It’s worth mentioning three key trends and themes kept coming up during the event. Number one is addressing health equity and access in the age of technology and innovation—or as some have coined it, techquity.
While there has been so much focus on artificial intelligence (AI) models and remote patient monitoring (RPM) platforms, at the end of the day, none of this will be valuable if patients do not or cannot access them. A panel featuring UnitedHealthGroup and Optum discussed some of the foundational components needed to ensure equitable adoption of advanced technologies including broadband access and hardware access. The gap will further increase, as seen during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in rural settings or areas where technology adoption is still low. Access to behavioral health and specialist services remains a challenge—but there are companies like Oak Street working to expand its offerings.
To help providers think more holistically, the American Medical Association launched their In Full Health initiative to provide a framework for addressing equitable opportunities in health innovation investment, solution development, and purchasing. HLTH Foundation and Ipsos created a white paper and intend to start a benchmark survey around the gaps in the industry.
What to measure and what matters?
The second key theme to emerge from the talks is around what and how to measure in this red-hot industry. One of the best quotes I heard during a talk was, “if it’s not measured, it doesn’t matter.” A panel discussion featuring a few notable health systems including Providence, LifeCare, and Vanderbilt that highlighted some of the considerations when adopting and investing in digital health opportunities. These measurements may include operational efficiency, quality improvement, and risk and liability. Ultimately, it’s important to ask what are the input and outputs from projects, even if it’s just a pilot program.
The industry is gathering so much data, but at the end of the day, what really matters? The data is there, but we need to be more thoughtful in selecting the information to display, so as to better inform the providers in making informed and just-in-time clinical decisions. Especially in population health and in service areas where we are moving towards value-based care, this could have a tremendous impact in providing high-quality care.
All in all, ViVE made a memorable first impression. Despite the association with CHIME, the event was approachable, worthwhile, and valuable to participate in as a manager. It gave me a glimpse into the latest trends and deals in the healthtech industry, while also an opportunity to discover and develop further relationships with peer provider systems and prospective vendors.