none

WEARABLE SENSOR KEEPS TRACK OF YOUR DRINKING

20-06-2017
by 
in 
Engineers Yogeswaran Umasankar and Ahmed Jalal examine a sensor.

Australia isn't alone in being a country that enjoys a few drinks; the USA has a very robust drinking culture. This makes it an ideal testing ground for new sensors being developed, which will allow the wearer to manage their alcohol intake with more precision. 

Activity trackers monitor your steps; this innovative sensor measures your blood alcohol level. Worn like a watch, this sensor picks up vapors from the skin and sends the data to a server. If the alcohol reading is high, via an app, a designated loved one gets an alert to check in on the user. This easy-to-wear gadget will help address issues with social drinking and addiction.

“We wanted to create an unobtrusive sensor that would be easy to wear, and help people struggling with alcohol,” said the inventor, Shekhar Bhansali, an Alcatel Lucent professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This is one step toward active intervention that only requires the user wear the sensor.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), excessive drinking cost the American economy $249 billion in 2010. Alcohol abuse is also known to kill about 88,000 people in the United States every year.

Bhansali explains that people struggling with alcoholism typically will lapse when it comes to self-reporting their alcohol intake. Also, alcohol clears the body within eight hours so someone who has to take a urine test in the morning can technically sleep off the full extent of any binge drinking they may have undergone the night before.

The wearable sensor detects alcohol off the skin within 15 to 20 minutes of consumption. The device is made from start to finish by engineers. First, they create the alcohol sensors in a hot press. Then they test and calibrate the sensor with a gas sensing setup. Once the sensor reads the expected alcohol levels, engineers wire the sensor to the board, print the interface for the device on a 3D printer, and then assemble it all together.

“The calibrated sensor acts like an ‘electronic nose;’ it can sense alcohol odor from the skin in a fraction of second,” said Yogeswaran Umasankar, a research assistant professor working with Bhansali.

In addition to managing alcoholism, this wearable sensor may help monitor social drinking on college campuses. It can also help keep an eye on liver transplant patients who are unable to drink or risk additional liver damage.

Related news & editorials

  1. 26.10.2021
    26.10.2021
    by      In
    Work, health and safety are fundamental to our lives and are, more than ever, a central focus for organisations.
    The Hunter region in NSW is well-known for leading the way in industry, this in turn has led to the region becoming champions of WHS.
    The Hunter Safety Award were born out of desire to... Read More
  2. 19.10.2021
    19.10.2021
    by      In
    There is no doubt that the recent AUKUS agreement between Australia, USA and the UK was a surprise to just about everyone on the planet!
    Taking a closer look into the government’s decision to commit to the AUKUS alliance, much of what has been reported by mainstream media has been inaccurate or... Read More
  3. 18.10.2021
    18.10.2021
    by      In
    Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA welcomes today’s intervention of the Australian Government seeking to put an end to three months of damaging strikes at Fremantle Port.
    It has been reported the Australian Government has stepped in, utilising its powers under the Fair Work Act to seek an... Read More
  4. 18.10.2021
    18.10.2021
    by      In
    McCormick & Company Inc, a global leader in flavour, today announced plans to open a new, state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, multi-purpose head office in Mentone.
    This new facility is currently under construction and is on schedule to provide a much-needed boost to manufacturing in... Read More
Products
Suppliers