Today (23 November 2017) marks the launch of an €8.7million cross-border project designed to enable older people with long term conditions (LTCs) to take the steps needed to live well, safely and independently in their own homes.

Funded by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, mPower aims to empower patients to take control of their conditions at home by using technology, while simultaneously freeing up GPs and other healthcare professionals so that they can treat more people.

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, joined public and third sector partners from Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland to announce the project launch at an event in Edinburgh today.

Speaking ahead of the launch, she said:

“This is an important project and it is particularly appropriate to announce it at an event that promotes cross-border collaboration.

“The mPower initiative illustrates how people can interact with digital technology to support and manage their health and wellbeing and it is crucial we look to innovation as we design a health and social care system that is fit for the changing needs of a 21st century Scotland.”

mPower Project Manager Alan Connor said: “I’m delighted we have now launched the mPower project. Around 66% of people in Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland will have one or more long term conditions by the age of 65, so promoting self-care at home is an important step in alleviating the pressure the health service faces, while enabling people to better manage their conditions. It’s great to bring our partners together today and I think we’re all excited to see the difference mPower could make to the future of health care.”

Speaking at the official launch of the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: “I am delighted to be able to share in the launch of this novel cross-border project which will help thousands of older people across Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland live longer with more confidence in their own homes and communities.

“It also reflects larger scale EU health and social care policies in relation to the promotion of e-health based initiatives, by helping citizen’s manage their own health and well-being through the use of innovative technologies.”

From late 2017 to December 2021, mPower Community Navigators will be employed to work with people referred from health and care services to develop wellbeing plans connecting them to activities in their community as well as to new technology to enhance support for health and wellbeing. Over the course of the project, mPower will support 2,500 people through the development of wellbeing plans, and 4,500 people through eHealth interventions.