UCSD develops device that measures blood alcohol levels accurately

UCSD develops device that measures blood alcohol levels accurately

Persistent and excessive consumption of alcohol is a chronic disease that can severely disrupt the lives of abusers and their families. Constantly indulging in alcohol may result in a level of dependency that could prove life-threatening. Eventually, an addict is unable to stop drinking despite developing serious illnesses such as a depressed respiratory system.

Driving under influence (DUI) is a serious issue that can not only put the driver’s life at risk, but also of others on the road. With almost 28 people succumbing to motor vehicle crashes every day in the U.S., as per a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the situation is grave. But now, engineers at the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) have come up with an innovative device that can help measure an alcoholic’s blood alcohol level (BAC) and pass on the data to various gadgets such as smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices. Developed by nano-engineering professor Joseph Wang and electrical engineering professor Patrick Mercier, the device does not require the wearer to be exercising or sweating.

Making the electronics portable and wireless

The device that comes in the form of a temporary tattoo, can prove to be of great help to doctors and police officers who can now get the BAC level from the driver’s sweat. As per ACS Sensors, it can easily be worn on the skin and consists of an electronic circuit board that is connected to the tattoo through a magnet. The tiny device produces sweat while attached to the users’ skin and then measures the level of BAC and transfers the information to a mobile device.

Unlike breathalyzers, which can, sometimes, give incorrect readings, the newly invented BAC-measuring device gives accurate results unaffected by the drinker’s movement, including constant shaking or bending. The best part is that the device is portable and can be integrated with the alcohol ignition interlock of a car or be used by friends or relatives to monitor the amount of alcohol intake before someone decides to hit the road after drinking.

“This device can use a Bluetooth connection, which is something a breathalyzer can’t do. We’ve found a way to make the electronics portable and wireless, which are important for practical, real-life use,” said Somayeh Imani, an electrical engineering Ph.D. student at Mercier’s lab.

Drunk driving responsible for a large number of road accidents

It is important to keep drunk drivers off the road and keep people safe by adopting proven strategies to control DUI. With the annual cost of alcohol-related accidents going beyond $44 billion, as per CDC, it is important to find new ways to deal with violators and encourage people to make conscious efforts to prevent drinking and driving. To end the menace of DUI, each individual needs to make the choice of driving safe by not consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheels. Alcoholics need to be educated on the repercussions of DUI and effective measures taken to prevent injuries and death caused by it.

Leading an alcohol-free life

Heavy drinking can pave the way for numerous health problems, chronic illnesses, neurological defects and many more. If someone wants to quit alcohol they have to first accept that there is a problem and take responsibility for it. Although it may not be easy in the beginning, it’s an essential step towards the path of recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, get in touch with the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to get to know about various treatment options available at alcohol rehab centers in California. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 to enquire about the reputed alcohol addiction treatment facilities in California.

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