Dr. Bas Mourik


The aim of to make STI care in the Netherlands more affordable, accessible and efficient through implementation of a data-driven ̧value-based healthcare approach.


Problem definition

Despite preventive measures and healthcare strategies, almost 150.000 new sexually transmitted infections (STI) are diagnosed per year in the Netherlands[1]. One of the greatest challenges in stopping this epidemic is reaching people at risk of an STI that do not visit a healthcare professional.

  • They do not seek care, because it is restricted by logistical, financial and cultural barriers:
  • Access to care is restricted to working/school hours.
  • Affordability cannot be guaranteed due to variable diagnostic fees, which are unknown in
    advance and fall for 80% within the ‘eigen risico’ of health insurances (see 3.1.2).
  • The prospect of an interview on STI remains a significant personal and/or cultural barrier [2].

These barriers are an important cause of delayed diagnosis and further STI spread, thereby creating a reservoir that maintains current incidences [2].In addition, young adults and risk populations from migratory or low socio-economic backgrounds are disproportionally affected by these barriers [1]. Their alternative consists of free clinics in municipal sexual health centers (SHC), but these centers only have limited capacity, reserved for high-risk populations. In reality, 79% of all STI in the Netherlands are diagnosed by general practitioners (GP) [1, 3].

Project objectives
We are developing a value-based healthcare approach that offers the full cycle of STI care through a combination of eHealth and integrated practice units (IPU). With this concept we aim to:

  • Increase accessibility to STI care through eHealth consultation and flexible IPU opening hours.
    • Reduce STI-care costs for patients at risk of STI with 26-67% (see 3.1.2).
    • Reduce time to treatment from 24-72h to 30 minutes.

Project explanation
Our eHealth module functions as a discrete and online accessible alternative to a GP visit (demo:

It is unique, because:

  • It is specifically designed for optimal access by low-literacy persons (2.5 million in NL [4]).
    • It is currently in the process of CE-marking for conformity with the European Medical Device Regulation (MDR), ensuring its evidence-based, high standards of quality.
      • It has an elaborate data-management system that allows for efficient data coupling and sharing.
      • It provides up-front, personalized transparent rates for the full STI care cycle.

The second pillar of our project is an IPU, which can be visited without an appointment after completion of the eHealth module. Here, a specialized nurse draws blood and provides counselling and a lab technician directly performs diagnostics in a ISO-15189 certified environment. Both are under remote medical supervision of a clinical microbiologist. By bringing the laboratory closer to the patient, the whole cycle of care comprising diagnostics, treatment and counselling can be completed in a single, discrete visit.