A spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) has been given £425,000 to improve drug screening services in hospital accident and emergency and coroners' departments.
The money was awarded to Intelligent Fingerprinting (Norwich, UK) by the Biomedical Catalyst - a programme of public funding designed to assist growth in the UK life sciences sector and delivered by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board.
Intelligent Fingerprinting has developed a handheld image processing system that can analyze the minute amounts of sweat contained in a fingerprint. The system can reveal the recent drug-use of an individual, providing results in just 10 minutes.
A £135,000 award will fund a project in partnership with Leicester University (Leicester, UK) to research the feasibility of using the technology for fast, non-invasive drug screening of patients admitted to hospital accident and emergency departments. A second £290,000 award will fund a study in conjunction with coroners to trial non-invasive drug testing of the deceased.
Intelligent Fingerprinting was one of 32 projects to receive a share of £39m in funding from the government-backed Biomedical Catalyst.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design