It was only a matter of time before scientists came up with a portable DNA testing machine that could provide results within 90 minutes such as the RapidHIT. The gadget has been approved for use in Arizona where it has been rolled out completely. Back in August 2014, the Richland County became the first force to use the gadget to identify and thus, apprehend a suspect for an attempted murder.
The gadget costs $250,000 and has been developed by IntegenX in US and Key Forensic Services in UK. The gadget requires an input of swabs taken from the crime scene and then scans it against the national DNA database to find a match. It is capable of processing 7 swabs simultaneously. The gadget is scheduled to be used by the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and Justice Department.
IntegenX says, “The RapidHIT system has successfully produced full profiles from very diverse samples such as teeth, bottle necks, hat sweatbands, cigarette butts, clothing, and several touch swabs.” It device resembles a printer and can be used by anyone, even those without the technical knowledge.
The time it takes a user to input the swab is about 3 minutes. Following that, the DNA analysis begins. Results are produced within two hours by RapidHIT. US Government has plans to test the machine in refugee camps located in Turkey and Thailand on families that are looking to take asylum in US. As per Chris Miles, Manager of the Department of Homeland Security’s biometrics program, “We have all these families that claim they are related, but we don’t have any way to verify that.” These tests will be voluntary though, however, the application may be rejected if one refuses to take the test.
Miles also hinted towards using this machine to keep tabs and curb child trafficking by ascertaining if the children are related to the adults they are travelling with. Robert Schueren, President and Chief Executive Officer of IntegenX stated, “The Arizona DPS deployment is a significant step for US Law Enforcement in preventing crimes with DNA. Generating real-time search results will provide tremendous safety benefits to the residents of Arizona.”