An Enterprise Web Application development project that provides an innovative solution to tackling the problem of ‘Legal Highs’ that damage communities and destroy lives across the UK.
New Psychoactive Substances, often better known as ‘legal highs’, have been a scourge of many communities across the UK for some time now. For the uninitiated, the problem arose when nefarious companies found various loopholes in UK drug legislation. These loopholes allowed them to legally sell these new ‘substances’ by making changes to their chemical make-up just enough to have them fall outside the remit of known controlled substances. They would then sell these substances branded as ‘not for human consumption’ or as ‘plant feed’ in an attempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility or need to justify their actions.
But if we take a look at some of the packaging used by these companies their true intentions don’t seem very ambiguous at all…
The problems these ‘legal highs’ have caused is dramatic. The sophisticated branding and marketing, alongside their once ‘legal’ status meant that people would consume these substances thinking they would be safe. The reality is unfortunately very different. Recorded deaths are common and professionals across multiple public services will confirm that they are in fact often far more damaging than the traditional controlled substances they were once more accustomed to dealing with. Prisons, schools and nightclubs are awash with these substances and the scary reality is that new substances are released so frequently and that makes it near impossible for authorities and care professionals across various agencies to keep up with a fast-moving problem. New substances appear so quickly that agencies can’t share information on new hazards quickly enough to take appropriate action.
The brief for the development of this Enterprise Web Application was clear from the outset; allow professionals from various agencies to collaborate, share information and issue alerts when they discover new substances and problems. The intention being that agencies could learn collectively, develop coherent strategies across departments with different agendas and deliver better results due to having ‘joined-up thinking’ and a untied front on how to tackle the problem.
The web application needed to be able to inform Police Departments, Needle Exchanges, Rehabilitation Centres and Care Givers of all relevant information to allow them to properly assist users and those suffering due to the negative effects these substances cause.
Forum Integration/ CMS Integration/ Hosting & Optimisation
ZUDU have extensive experience in delivering both web applications and particularly mHealth solutions to the public and private sectors. This made us the perfect partner to help CAIR Scotland achieve their ambition of sharing their extensive NPS knowledge with peers and relevant agencies.
We first helped CAIR Scotland to define the problem and scope out potential solutions by holding ideation sessions and focus groups. We are strong believers that putting together coherent requirements documentation and specifications ensures a successful delivery before embarking on a digital project. This was particularly important in this project as multiple stakeholders, IT requirements and complex features made the scoping and planning of the project paramount to its success. This process enabled us to identify the distinct user groups for the app, the data requirements and features needed to ensure the vision of connecting various agencies was realised requirements and features needed to ensure the vision of connecting various agencies was realised.
This resulted in an agile Enterprise Web Application development that successfully delivered amazing features that made CAIR Scotland’s vision a reality:
- NPS Database – a central repository allowing users across all agencies to explore the purity, price range and substance types of all known NPS products.
- E-Learning Portal – An e-learning portal that allows uninitiated users to get up to speed on NPS in the most efficient way currently available.
- Collective Knowledge Sharing – The ability for all stakeholders to contribute to the knowledge base within the web app. Making submissions of new substances and their effects extremely simple and growing the collective knowledge of all users.
- Legality guidance – A big problem with NPS is their relatively ambiguous legal status. The app means users now know exactly where the law stands on various substances.
- Case Studies – A fantastic way for users to share real-life stories and share their own experiences via the web application for other professionals to learn from.
- Emerging Trends – The web app offers fantastic ways to monitor new trends across certain locations. Rather than being reactive stakeholders can now stay ahead of growing and potentially dangerous trends.
- Early Warning Notification Alerts – Never miss an important announcement with users able to receive alerts and warnings via new notifications.
- Forum Integration – What better way to connect engaged professionals than giving them a feature rich forum allowing them to develop engaging threads and cross department discussions.
Beyond these features ZUDU also ensured that CAIR Scotland were able to continue updating the web application with ease via a custom install of a powerful content management system. This was absolutely essential to allow the web application to be flexible enough to keep up with a very fast moving and malleable health care problem facing the UK.
If you found this project interesting you may want to learn more about how we can help your organisation become more efficient and give your staff the tools required to get the job done quickly and effectively.
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