Case study
March 25, 2024
Anisah Tariq


Startup support
Organisation growth

Market research into the Safer Prescription of Opioids Tool (SPOT)

The app 'Safer Prescription of Opioids Tool' or 'SPOT', is part of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Palliative Care Policy Toolkit, distributed and supported by Class Professional Publishing who provide first-line user support and featured by the BBC in a news article as an end-of-life pain relief phone app that was trialled in a hospital.

SPOT is distributed as software as a service, CE-marked software as a medical device, and registered with the MHRA. SPOT is compliant with the Medical Device Directive and fully insured. SPOT has a full quality management system (QMS) and regulatory compliance. As a clinician-decision support tool.

The Support

Errors in opioid prescribing rank in the top five drug related mistakes in the world. The objective of the study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the current use of SPOT and find out about customer needs that are currently not served by the device. The aim of this work was also to provide objective evidence, collected by a third party, of the merits and demerits of SPOT according to its target user base. This was to create actionable intelligence to help shape the development and investment roadmap for SPOT as a business.

Phase I of the project was delivered through a set survey for end users. The survey covered generic information about the users, such as their age group, gender, frequency of the use of opioids and their medical conditions.
Phase II consisted of a focus group(s) in which 6 users were invited at a time to discuss their use of the software and any improvements they suggest. Discussions were captured either by recording and transcribing or by a telephone interview and transcribing.

Themes for the use of SPOT were identified from the surveys and focus groups and recommendations of areas of improvement for market research were made based on these.

Dr Roger Flint from SPOT said:

‘Anisah and the Digital Catapult NETV undertook an excellent piece of research into SPOT. This was supported by Innovate UK, and gave invaluable, impartial insights into the use of the product and evidence for the key unmet needs addressed by SPOT. I wholeheartedly recommend Anisah, Ashmita and the Digital Catapult and I am grateful to them and to Ulrike Knies-Bamforth for their help and support which has had a transformative effect on SPOT’