Three themes from ViVE 2022 conference

The impact of vendor mergers, the search for unicorns and coping with staff burnout

The recent ViVE 2022 conference in Miami offered an excellent opportunity for healthcare leaders to come together to share their insights on the industry's most pressing issues.


ViVE is a collaborative between the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), and the digital marketplace HLTH, which focuses on the business of healthcare systems. Here are three themes that emerged at the event.

Mergers and acquisitions

In recent months, several significant healthcare technology vendor acquisitions have been announced, including:

  • Oracle’s pending purchase of Cerner.
  • Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance.
  • Harris Computer Corp.’s purchase of several units of Allscripts.
  • Baxter’s acquisition of Hillrom.
  • Stryker’s buy of Vocera.

The impact of those deals was a hot topic at ViVE 2022. That’s because these moves are making healthcare CIOs re-evaluate their portfolio of products to align better strategically and establish new or deeper partnerships.

We will continue to see healthcare technology vendor consolidation. Many CIOs are keeping that theme in the back of their minds as they make their purchasing decisions. The main question is: Will decision-makers gamble on an early-stage solution, knowing that it could become an acquisition target?

Unicorn search

According to a recent study from Rock Health, U.S. digital health companies secured $29.1 billion in funding in 2021, nearly double the amount invested in 2020. Everyone is looking for unicorns in digital health.

Aaron Miri, senior vice president and chief digital and information officer at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, says, "SPACs [special purpose acquisition companies, also known as ‘blank check’ companies] and investors that promised limited upside for start-up valuation are hitting the target. Everyone is looking for the next unicorn, but the reality is that we are driving a well-equipped Ford instead of the Bentley the world thinks we drive." 

William Walders, CIO and senior vice president, operations support at Health First, notes: “Lots of folks nibbling at the edges of big healthcare will be successful in ways we can't be. One significant recent development, he says, was the announcement that Amazon is digging into the retail pharmacy sector by teaming up with Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans in five states to roll out a prescription discount savings card.

We saw many start-ups and investors at ViVE 2022. But the first requirement to achieve unicorn status is for these organizations to be able to display the logos of clients actually using their products.

Workforce burnout

Another hot topic at the ViVE event was dealing with clinical workforce burnout as a result of working extremely hard to fight the pandemic. Behind the scenes, healthcare organizations are supported by technology teams, and those IT teams are also burned out.

Kevin Shimamoto, CIO at Valley Children's Hospital, says he’s focused on retaining talent while fighting burnout. He notes that Valley Children's Hospital competes for talent with Silicon Valley big tech companies now that employees can work from anywhere.

Zafar Chaudry, MD, senior vice president and chief digital and information officer at Seattle Children's Hospital, says he spends a lot of time meeting with the frontline remote staff to ensure that they are engaged and feel included when working in a remote environment. Until recently, health systems had not embraced a remote working environment, so CIOs are adjusting their management styles in supporting a remote approach.

So there you have it – the top three themes from the ViVE 2022 healthcare conference. These themes will continue to shape the healthcare landscape in the coming months.

David Chou is a healthcare CIO and founder of

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