The Polish Cluster
Lodz region (voivodeship, in Polish - województwo) is one of 16 regions functioning in Poland. Located in the central part of the country, it is an important academic and educational centre, with well developed R&D background (with more than 20 higher schools and approximately 139 000 students of higher education institutions) and high development potential. Lodz region borders six Polish voivodeships. The area of the Lodz region amounts to 18 219 square kilometers, while its total population: 2 541 832 (data of 2009). According to the data of 2009, in the Lodz region there function 177 communes, 43 towns, 21 districts (in Polish-powiat) and 3 cities with powiat status. Lodz is the capital city of the region. In total, in the Lodz region there function 1275 healthcare institutions.
Lodz is the only Polish city participating in the third stage of the “Healthy Cities” programme, which involves some 40 cities from over twenty European countries. Under this programme, Lodz implements “The Directions of Actions which are to Improve Health of the Lodz Population”, the first Polish action plan of health improvement, which treats this issue in a complex manner. “The Directions” is the first document of this type in Europe. Together with the self-government’s authorities, municipalities, cities and communes, government’s administration, economic self-government, and Lodz Regional Development Agency (Lodz Borough is a shareholder) they implement the objectives of the, ”Development Strategy of the Lodz Region”. Under the Regional Contract, they exchange opinions with the regional self-government. Economic promotion of Lodz, attracting and providing service for investors who start up their businesses in the Lodz region, and development of regional infrastructure and investments, are a joint and priority task of the above-mentioned partners.
The phenomenon of ageing society observed in the Lodz region has a major influence on the patterns of the incidence and occurrence of various diseases, especially chronic ones and those related to the circulatory, respiratory, digestive and locomotion system, as well as cancer. Furthermore, due to the fact that individuals in retirement age are the most frequent users of the medical benefit system, this group has a direct influence on the number of healthcare facilities and their specific offer granted both in terms of outpatient and inpatient health service. Population growth rate in the region is the lowest in Poland.
The Marshal’s Office of the Lodz Region is the self-governmental authority of the Lodz Region. It is responsible for designing and conducting of the policy of socio-economic development of the Region, including healthcare policy. The regional government’s objective is to create a health policy, set the main trends of action, determine conditions allowing for securing the health needs of the population, and for ensuring health safety for all citizens. Health policy is conducted by the Self-government of the Lodz Region, among others, through the implementation of health prevention programs in the field of diabetes as well as dementia and other cognitive diseases.
In the course of its duties, the Self-government of the Lodz Region on many occasions undertook actions aimed at increasing the quality of healthcare services rendered for the region’s citizens, and at improving the general condition of health in society. Self-government the Lodz Region supervises the activities of 18 independent public healthcare centers (including hospitals) which function in this region. Therefore the Office has developed a fruitful partnership with these institutions. Moreover, a close cooperation has been developed with other agents acting in favour of the development of the healthcare sector in the voivodeship, such as: R&D institutes, high schools (including University of Lodz, Technical University of Lodz, Medical University of Lodz, Higher School of Business and Health Science in Lodz), ICT enterprises (including those functioning in the area of e-Health, such as software and hardware providers, hospital information system suppliers, etc.).
University of Lodz - KNOWBASE, centre of Excellence in the Knowledge-based Economy is one of the biggest Polish universities and it boasts 12 faculties. The university provides teaching and carries out scientific research in all main fields of study, with focus on international relations, European law, environmental studies, biology and environment protection. The Faculty of Biology and Environmental Science is one of the most active faculties in the field of research projects, especially those related to health and food. But University of Lodz is also involved in other programs of FP7, e.g. PEOPLE, Socio-economic sciences and Humanities, Information and Communication Technologies etc.
The Management Faculty belongs to the youngest university’s departments however with strong developed research activity provided by the Centre of Excellence in the Knowledge-based Economy KNOWBASE. The KNOWBASE’s staff are recruited from highly-qualified research personnel with extensive international contacts as well as close contacts with the economy and its environment. Owing to them, the Institute is in a position to undertake new research challenges and guarantee the originality and high quality of the work conducted.
The M. Pirogow Regional Specialist Hospital in Lodz has, within its organizational structure, 7 hospital wards with a rich diagnostics base. The range of medical services provided by the hospital includes the main pathologies affecting elderly people (basic and specialist medical care, ambulatory medical care within the specialities, hospitalisation of people who need twenty-four-hour or day-long basic and specialist medical care, etc.). The Pirogow hospital has a total number of beds of 268. The Regional Centre for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases is subject to the Pirogow hospital and has a proper structure.
Pixel Technology is since 1992, one of primary company's objects was a GIS (Geographic Information System). Since 2000 Pixel Technology start to create an Election System in Poland and in the same year build experience in medical solutions. Pixel Technology is developing Radiology Solution and was the first company in Poland which start developing own DICOM browser.