The digital health technology sector is growing rapidly, spurred on by the shift to virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing the accelerated pace of digital transformation in healthcare, two industry organizations have teamed up to launch a new in-person technology industry event focused exclusively on digital health.
HLTH, which launched its first healthcare conference in Las Vegas in 2018, is partnering with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) to launch ViVE, an annual digital health event slated to take place March 6-9, 2022 in Miami Beach.
"With rapid digital health adoption and accelerated readiness to accept new modes of care delivery and engagement, there’s a pressing need to convene health IT executives around digital transformation,” said Jonathan Weiner, founder, chairman and CEO of HLTH. “ViVE was created to respond to the demand for a reimagined health technology event during this exciting and tumultuous time for healthcare and provides a complement to HLTH’s digital health innovation ecosystem event in the fall.”
In parallel with the rapid adoption of digital health technology, there's also a massive amount of money flowing into the market, as global venture capital funding into digital health topped $7.2 billion in the first quarter of 2021, double the $3.6 billion invested the same quarter a year ago, according to Mercom Capital.
ViVE organizers are planning for 4,500 to 5,500 attendees at the inaugural ViVE with a focus on C-suite and senior executive leaders, Rich Scarfo, president of HLTH, told Fierce Healthcare.
The new digital health event will be designed to provide education and networking opportunities for digital health disruptors and influencers, with a focus on offering an immersive, experiential event, according to Scarfo.
"With its emphasis on community, creativity, productivity, flexibility and new ideas, ViVE is where the digital health community will come together to impact the transformation of health and care," the organizations said.
The new event has gained "significant support" from leading industry companies in its first round of title sponsors, CHIME and HLTH said in a press release.
In February it was reported that CHIME would not host an event at HIMSS21. The two groups had hosted a one-day CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum the past two years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most conferences and trade shows shifted to virtual events to help prevent the spread of the virus and to adhere to social distancing policies. Many healthcare industry events are pivoting back to in-person conferences later this year, including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's HIMSS21 conference in Las Vegas in August and HLTH 2021 in Boston in October.
"We’re in an interesting period right now. We're starting to see things come back slowly. The most important thing is to deliver a safe event for everyone. Digital events have done well during the past year, but people are ready to get back to in-person events," Scarfo said.
He added, "It's important to get back to in-person events at the right time. We think March is the right time."
The next 60 to 90 days will be "critical" for the industry as event organizers monitor the status of COVID-19 vaccinations and trends in cases across the country, Scarfo noted.
CHIME is a professional organization for chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. The association has more than 5,000 members and 150 healthcare IT business partners and professional services firms. As part of the partnership, CHIME brings expertise in high-quality, peer-driven education and a global community of senior and executive digital health leaders, according to the organizations.
HLTH launched three years ago with a focus on bringing together digital changemakers and innovators from across the health ecosystem.
The ViVE 2022 event will feature Expo programming and special events with thought leaders addressing key issues in digital health innovation. The event will also offer 1-to-1 curated matchmaking, through the ViVE hosted buyer program that pairs digital health vendors with interested buyers, the organizations said.
CHIME’s Spring Forum providing education and networking opportunities for CHIME members will be integrated into the ViVE event.
CHIME and HLTH have worked together in the past as CHIME was a partner during HLTH 2019 and also participated in the organization's 2020 virtual conference. The two organizations have a "natural synergy," said CHIME president and CEO Russell Branzell.
"We both have a desire to create something positive that will be meaningful to our members and audiences and at the macro level, the entire health industry," he said.
"We share a vision for what an event should offer: fresh, invigorating learning and networking opportunities in a purposeful environment. ViVE, the result of this collaboration, will be the catalyst to advance health and care," Branzell said.