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The ViVE Conference in Nashville: What you need to know

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This week, thousands will be attending the digital health conference in Music City. Here’s a look at the big event.

Digital health is taking center stage in Music City this week.

Nashville is hosting the ViVE Conference.

Nashville is hosting the ViVE Conference.

Thousands are expected to attend the ViVE conference in Nashville starting today and running through Wednesday. The conference is focused on digital health and will feature scores of tech companies, along with leaders of hospitals, life sciences, payers, and other healthcare organizations.

The College of Healthcare Management Executives (CHIME) is teaming with HLTH in organizing the conference. HLTH also runs its namesake HLTH Conference in Las Vegas, slated for October.

Over the four days of the ViVE conference, healthcare leaders, entrepreneurs and investors will participate in sessions on topics such as telehealth, cybersecurity, the exchange of data, the transformation of healthcare, and health equity.

This is only the second year for ViVE and the conference is emerging as a big draw. Last year’s event attracted 5,000 people, and this year, ViVE is expected to draw around 7,500, says Keith Fraidenburg, CHIME’s executive vice president and chief operating & innovation officer.

“We’re still the new kid on the block,” he tells Chief Healthcare Executive®.

“People wanted to see if this was real. We’d like to believe the feedback was pretty positive.”

In designing ViVE, Fraidenburg says the goal of the conference is “building an experience for executives.”

More than half of those attending ViVE (53%) are vice presidents or in the C-suite. Even as the conference has grown in attendance, VIVE is drawing a greater percentage of leaders. Roughly three-quarters (73%) of those attending ViVE are at the director level or above, compared to 70% last year.

Leaders looking to solve problems and deliver needed innovations in healthcare are finding the advantages of connecting in person, Fraidenburg says.

“At the end of the day this is about the business of healthcare,” he says. “If we’re going to accelerate change … you need to bring decision-makers together.”

Some of the leaders speaking at the conference include Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare, which is based in Nashville: Roy Jakobs, CEO of Philips; and Kim Keck, president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Executives from Microsoft, Amazon and Walmart are appearing at ViVE. Leaders from CommonSpirit Health, the Mayo Clinic, Baptist Health, Sutter Health and other hospital systems will also be speaking at the conference.

The Music City Center serves as the venue for the conference, with big technology and healthcare firms and startups showing their latest offerings.

Fraidenburg says the conference is set up so attendees don’t have to walk 20 minutes to different sessions.

“Our exhibit floor is very different,” he says. “We moved everything onto the floor. The entire event takes place in one area.”

The event offers themed pavilions on cybersecurity and interoperability. Health equity is another big theme of the event, with several discussions on the schedule and a “techquity” pavilion.

“Techquity is core to what’s going on in the world today,” Fraidenburg says. “It’s not unique to healthcare.”

ViVE also offers “curated matchmaking” connecting founders of startups with investors, as well as buyers from hospitals and health systems with companies providing technology solutions. The event features spaces and opportunities for one-on-one meetings so leaders can take care of business.

“Time is one of the most precious things you have,” Fraidenburg says. “We want to make sure you maximize your opportunity.”

Nashville makes a logical location for ViVE, since the city is home to 4,000 healthcare companies.

“Nashville is such a great fit for ViVE,”  Fraidenburg says. “It’s an electric city and has its own vibe. ViVE is about energy. It’s about change. It’s about innovation.”

Along with all of the panels and networking, there are a number of receptions and events for attendees to unwind.

During the conference's Industry Night on Tuesday, legendary rockers The Black Crowes will be performing at a reception at the Wildhorse Saloon. The band scored hits such as “Hard to Handle," “She Talks to Angels," and, an appropriate track for a healthcare crowd, “Remedy.”

Chief Healthcare Executive® is in Nashville for the conference. Look for coverage throughout the week.

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