Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Medical Technological Specializations of Central and Eastern European Regions

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Medical Technological Specializations of Central and Eastern European Regions

Article excerpt

Introduction

Technics and technology are microeconomic characteristics. Their transposition to the level of regional analysis raises many problems. Recognizing that technology means all processing of tangible and intangible assets into usable goods, and in particular it constitutes an accumulated stream of scientific and technical knowledge on the practical use of the achievements of a specific area of science, in particular healthcare, its transposition and aggregation in regional terms will rely on the summing up of unit records of the rise of new medical and technical knowledge regarding healthcare. It is assumed that individual records materialize the accumulation of medico-technical knowledge. They lend themselves to quantification. The process of technological learning promotes the formation of medical technological potential, understood as a set of scientific and technical solutions, available to regional economic operators in many fields of science, including medicine.

This terminological context leads to two main research goals. These are: the identification of technological medical specializations of regions of Central and Eastern Europe, and evaluation of their differentiation by interregional arrangement. In order to achieve the defined scientific objectives a proprietary concordance tablef.IPC^MedTech and a Balassa's Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) index have been used.

The structure of the study is as follows. Section 1 discusses the literature in the field of technological comparative advantage. Section 2 describes the methodology and primary data used to achieve the goals of the study. Step 3 presents the results of the empirical analyses. Part 4 shows the possibilities and limitations of the research methodology used. The last section is a summary of the study.

1.Literature Review

The concept of technological potential has wide connotations. It can be understood as the set of technical solutions and procedures that domestic entities possess, but also as the ability to create streams of new or improved technological solutions (Stern et al., 2000). The ownership of new (or improved) solutions can remain under the control of various players in the market. The development of technological capacity in various fields of industry (and science) is a result of the absorption capacity of the technology transferred from outside (the country/economic sector) and the efficiency of the process of its development.

The accumulation of capacities and capabilities of technological development embodied in the title deeds for new technical solutions has been more dynamic in recent decades, with radical changes in the approaches and methods for carrying out process managements, which is increasingly based on intangible resources. It should be clearly stated that depending on the cultural or institutional circumstances the accumulation process has a different course and dynamics. "It seems justifiable to assume that the relationship between technological change and the cultural and institutional characteristics of a given nation is one of the most important causes of the observed differences in the rates of inventiveness and economic growth between countries" (Gomulka, 1998, p. 14).

The results of research on the relationship between scientific achievements, industrial developments and structural changes in the economy initiated by J. Schumpeter (1934) emphasize particular skills and technological competence as a prerequisite towards obtaining comparative advantages (Malerba, Orsenigo, 1995). Compared with the traditional assumptions (R. Torrens, then D. Ricardo), the theory of comparative advantage should be regarded now as a logically cohesive structure of generalizations that explain the mechanism of mutually beneficial exchange of goods under the conditions of diversified costs and applicability of specific technologies for the production of a given good, including medical services (bundle of medical services). …

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