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About the region

Twente is a region in the east of the Netherlands. The total resident population of Twente is 627.484 inhabitants (2018), divided over 14 municipalities. Outside the 3 big cities, Twente is a region with great landscape qualities: it has a small-scale landscape with nature reserves and green estates.


Health and social care in the region

The Netherlands has the highest rating on the Euro health consumer index, which compares health systems in Europe. However, the current situation regarding implementation of integrated care is characterised by lack of political consensus and development of national-level policies (EU Health system fiche, 2018). In fact, the Netherlands received low ratings in a maturity assessment for all aspects of integrated care, including readiness to change, information & eHealth services, structure & governance, and citizen empowerment. Hence, Twente is faced with multiple challenges when it comes to care integration. A facilitating factor for the improvement of integrated care is that all relevant regional stakeholders in Twente, from social service providers to long-term care institutions, have been involved in the establishment and operation of the Twente reference site and the foundation Vitaal Twente.

Being involved in VIGOUR, we aimed at improving patient experience, outcomes of care and effectiveness of health systems through (technologically) facilitating, supporting and evaluating the spread and uptake of good person-centred integrated practices in Europe.

VIGOUR in the region

The region Twente is especially strong on the interface between healthcare and technology. In Twente, there are two projects that are chosen to showcase how integrated care projects can benefit from the support provided from the VIGOUR project. The region of Twente focused on (technologically) supporting integrated care for patients with chronical diseases.

  • Pain rehabilitation. The trajectory from diagnosis to treatment for patients with chronical pain complaints is currently not efficient. For example, one-third of the referred patients do not receive indication for treatment and the time between diagnosis and suitable treatment is too long, resulting in high costs and low patient satisfaction. The purpose of this project is to improve and technologically support the integration of services of health care providers who are involved with the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain, e.g. GPs, rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.
  • Diabetes care. In Twente, a diabetes program was set up that aims to provide holistic, technologically supported, and personalized care to patients with diabetes type 2. One of the aims of this project was to support diabetes patients in maintaining their glucose values and reducing diabetes related complications. The project will focus on supporting person-centred integration of public health services, specialized services and other professions involved with diabetes care.

Regional contact details

Wander Kenter: w.kenter(at)utwente(dot)nl

Miriam Vollenbroek-Hutten: m.m.r.hutten(at)utwente(dot)nl


The team in the region

Miriam Vollenbroek-Hutten Wander Kenter