World’s first portable fingerprint drug test launches


Fingerprint drug test to support criminal justice and detoxification

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Press Release

Launch of world’s first portable fingerprint drug test

  • UK firm Intelligent Fingerprinting launches revolutionary drug screening system that’s quick and easy to use anywhere, anytime
  • Sample collection takes just 5 seconds; testing for the 4 main drug groups – cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines – in under 10 minutes
  • See fingerprint drug testing in action in our video here.

The world’s first portable fingerprint drug test has been launched by UK company Intelligent Fingerprinting. Available now, the revolutionary system is hygienic and easy-to-use, collecting fingerprint samples in just five seconds and delivering simultaneous screening results for the four main drug groups – cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines – in under ten minutes.

Initial applications for the system include support for drug testing programmes within drug rehabilitation, workplace and criminal justice arenas. Organisations using the new system – which have previously been reliant on collecting saliva and urine samples for drug screening – will benefit from the simplicity and improved hygiene of fingerprint drug tests. Those being tested appreciate the system’s dignified and non-invasive collection method.

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s fingerprint drug test technology – which consists of a fingerprint sample collection cartridge and the portable Reader 1000 analysis unit – works by analysing the tiny traces of sweat contained in a fingerprint to detect drugs and drug metabolites. Drug metabolites are substances produced by the body when it processes (metabolises) drugs of abuse, and they are excreted in sweat. The four drug groups detected by Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Drug Screening Cartridge cover the majority of mainstream drug misuse, ensuring that the company’s new drug testing system can support a broad range of drug screening requirements immediately.

“Our portable fingerprint drug test means that organisations can now screen for drug use almost anywhere at any time. It only takes a few seconds to collect a fingerprint for analysis, and our revolutionary technology offers a much more hygienic and dignified means of testing compared with conventional drug tests that require bio-hazardous samples such as urine or saliva,” said Dr Jerry Walker, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s CEO. “Following successful UK market trials and validation, it’s clear that fingerprint samples are not only much easier to collect and process, but also deliver when it comes to the rigorous analysis required for drug use diagnostics.”

“We plan to further publish our findings and present at upcoming scientific conferences and customer events, and our collaborators will do the same as we work together to share the potential of this breakthrough in rapid diagnostic screening,” Dr Walker continued.

Collecting a fingerprint sweat sample on the cartridge takes just five seconds. The cartridge is then inserted into a reader that analyses the fingerprint sweat to provide a positive or negative result for each drug in the test in under 10 minutes.

Fingerprint Drug Test Applications

The new fingerprint drug test – which has been fully trialled and is now available to order – has applications in a wide variety of drug screening scenarios. Initial applications include:

  • Drug rehabilitation programmes – the drug test’s portability and non-invasive approach enables convenient drug screening in both clinics and community-based centres with on-site results.
  • Workplace – supporting health & safety managers when implementing and maintaining the drug policies that are increasingly important for construction, transport applications such as railways and airlines, warehousing and public transport operatives
  • Criminal Justice – to meet drug screening requirements by the police and courts, and to support offender management and rehabilitation
  • Coroners – for use in mortuaries to provide intelligence on past drug use that can be used by the Coroner to help prioritise when a full post mortem is needed, and – potentially – enable earlier release of the deceased back to their families. Successful trials have taken place in three UK Coroner jurisdictions

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable fingerprint-based drug screening system is based on initial science conducted by Professor David Russell at the University of East Anglia (UEA) some ten years ago, and is the result of years of intense R&D and over £10 million of development funding. The company has a number of external collaborations including those with LGC, University of Surrey, King’s College London and the National Physical Laboratory, all of which are focused on gaining a better understanding of the power of fingerprint-based diagnostics.

Watch our introductory video to find out more about how our fingerprint drug test works, and how it has the potential to revolutionise drug screening across many sectors:


For media information contact Cheryl Billson at Comma
Email:  Tel: +44 (0)7791 720460

 Notes to Editors: 

About Intelligent Fingerprinting
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s unique fingerprint-based portable Drug Screening System is set to revolutionise the way drug screening is carried out across a range of sectors. The distinctive Intelligent Fingerprinting technology, which works by analysing the sweat from a fingerprint sample, enables non-invasive, cost-effective screening for multiple drug groups in less than 10 minutes (currently amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates).

Intelligent Fingerprinting has attracted worldwide interest in its technology from a wide range of drug-screening markets including the criminal justice arena, drug rehabilitation centres, prisons and occupational health services. The technique has potential for many other uses including healthcare diagnostics and homeland security applications.

The company’s ground-breaking technology detects drug use by analysing substances, known as metabolites, contained in the minute traces of sweat found in a fingerprint. (Metabolites are substances produced by the body as a result of normal metabolic processes.) The Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System looks for the presence of specific drugs or drug metabolites in the test subject’s fingerprint sweat sample and, if detected, identifies which drugs have been consumed.

Intelligent Fingerprinting also works closely with universities, measurement and testing bodies – including organisations such as LGC, University of Surrey and the UK National Measurement Laboratory and Designated Institute for chemical and bio-measurement – to support the wider development of fingerprint-based drug screen analysis methods and future research into fingerprints as a diagnostic matrix.

Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA).  The company is based in Cambridge, England and currently employs around 30 people. Since 2012 Intelligent Fingerprinting has raised £11.23m in funding from a consortium of private UK and US-based investors, as well as government funding for pilot studies within the UK’s National Health Service and Coroners’ services.

Follow us on Twitter @iFingerprinting

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