My kids love to read the book “Same, Same, But Different” by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw – the title of which immediately came to mind as a simplified summary of the ViVE and HIMSS conferences these past few weeks.

DirectTrust is proud to be a non-profit partner of both ViVE and HIMSS. Six of our team members attended ViVE in Los Angeles in late February. We exhibited in the InteropNow! Pavilion, and we presented an educational session. Two weeks later, three team members attended HIMSS in Orlando, and we participated as part of a panel. While both events occurred in close proximity, we did approach each with different strategies that proved successful for our organization. This blog explores the key takeaways I observed from each event, their similarities, and their critical differences.


Same, Same: The conversation around cybersecurity is shifting, as conversations at both ViVE and HIMSS recognized the need for more investments (monetary, infrastructure, education, planning, regulatory) in this space. Additionally, recent breaches were a huge topic of conversation, especially in the ever-important hallway conversations.

But Different: The common cybersecurity thread at HIMSS was resilience, full stop. It felt like every single session of the pre-conference Cybersecurity Forum focused on resilience. Cybersecurity incidents and breaches seemed to be much more recognized as a fact of life: of course we will do what we can for prevention, but inevitably incidents will occur, and the next important action is resilience.

Of note, the HHS 405(d) Program is releasing a Operational Continuity Cyber Incident Checklist, meant to be a guide for organization in the first 12 hours after a cyberattack.

Artificial Intelligence

Same, Same: While AI has been a topic of conversation at conferences in the past, it exploded in popularity this year. There’s a wide variety of topics related to AI, including reducing burden, ethics, cybersecurity, and more. It does feel like in comparison to other “hot topics,” AI is one that’s going to stick. With so many different facets, as well as offering possible “game-changing” solutions, this will continue to be a topic to watch and learn about.

But Different: The conversation around AI was much more saturated at ViVE. You couldn’t turn around without hearing about AI, and it felt like the vast majority of exhibitors had some AI offering or strategy. AI was certainly still present at HIMSS, but was diffused through larger health technology conversations.


Same, Same: TEFCA continues to be the main interoperability topic, as in prior years. There was significant conversation around future use cases, and what TEFCA might solve next. Both events offered interoperability-specific areas, with the InteropNow! Pavilion at ViVE and the Interop Showcase at HIMSS.

But Different: HIMSS had a significantly larger interoperability footprint in terms of exhibitors and education offerings – with a pre-conference dedicated to interop – but in proportion to the number and types of attendees, ViVE had excellent offerings as well. Most noticeable to me at HIMSS was the conversation around interoperability outside and beyond TEFCA. TEFCA is a hugely important piece of the interoperability puzzle – but it is a piece. I noted conversations and calls for spotlighting additional interoperability success stories as models, use cases, and needs beyond TEFCA.


Same, Same: Relationships rule, and in person connection cannot be beat. Both events had excellent opportunities for connection that attendees loved. While health technology is a large industry, it’s also a small industry, as I was reminded of seeing peers who have moved between multiple organizations but are still very much plugged in and making a difference in health tech. Both events certainly reinforced the importance of relationships.

But Different: For us, ViVE was more focused on new relationships and HIMSS was for existing relationships. As an exhibitor in the InteropNow! Pavilion at ViVE, we were able to meet new organizations and people. Our plan for HIMSS was different, where we had many more pre-set meetings with existing members and partners. Even so, many fruitful ad hoc conversations happened at both events, with our on the fly conversations at HIMSS centered more around synthesizing new opportunities and partnerships.

Bottom Line:

Both of these 2024 industry events provided excellent education and networking opportunities. It’s no secret that they have a lot of similarities and crossover, both in attendees and topics, but also their own unique strengths. We look forward to continuing to support and attend both events for years to come!