Transforming sexual health services in the UK

Ordering a test kit

20 weeks

from inception to a working online NHS service

2 million+

test kits ordered through the platform we developed

The challenge

STI clinic queues

SH:24’s visionary founders wanted to validate a bold proposition to shift public service users to a new digital channel.

With clinics closing, increasing demand for sexual health services and cuts to public funding, they commissioned Unboxed to research, test and develop a solution that could be launched quickly. The aim was provide a new using minimum costs to meet needs of service users and healthcare professionals.


Unboxed brought the right people together quickly to help us test our proposition and rapidly turn our vision into a live service, designed around our users' needs.

Chris Howroyd, CEO, SH:24


SH:24 is a digital sexual health provider delivering public health services in the UK, Ireland and internationally.

Users can order STI tests, contraception and treatment online, with results and updates by text and specialist clinical support from their in-house nursing team.

Our approach

By taking a lean and agile approach we developed their first minimal viable product (MVP) - a public-facing public facing website and back-office management system with automated result processing.

Our focus on engaging complex set of stakeholders, from clinicians and service users to clinic receptionists, helped us deliver better outcomes and rapid adoption of the services.

As a start up, SH:24 had extensive clinical experience but no digital team. We helped them to build an in-house teams and embed an agile, user-centred approach.

SH:24 cardboard prototype test kit
SH:24 alpha test kit

What we learnt

Going to where users are was vital. We set up an office close to the clinic and took our prototypes into waiting rooms and consultations.

This allowed us to quickly test a basic version of the end to end the service with all users, making cost efficient improvements quickly.

An MVP approach helped us demonstrate value and get buy in from clinicians who were used to a more traditional approach to evaluating new concepts. This enabled them to make confident decisions about what to build.


user satisfaction rate


of people who start the order process go through to completion

Beyond the project

Our work gave SH:24 a platform to scale up across the UK and internationally, adding new services to meet a wide range of sexual and reproductive health needs with the same technology.

We established agile, iterative and user-centred ways of working which SH:24 still hold as their core values.

SH24 test kit elements laid out around a sketch of a hand, to show the order in which users use each item.

Jo Oliveira.jpeg

Find out more

We'd be happy to discuss our work with SH:24. We're can also provide speakers for conferences, events and training.

Email Jo at to arrange a chat.