The overall goal of the Phase I program will be to provide proof of feasibility for a new, unobtrusive wrist band style blood alcohol sensor. The device will continuously measure blood alcohol content (BAC) by noninvasive detection of transdermal alcohol content (TAC) using an ultralow power (microwatt), tiny, printed gas sensor recently developed in our company. The wrist band will also provide several key physiological measurements (temperature, local skin humidity, position/activity and heart rate detection) in addition to BAC. This device will prove beneficial in clinical and research settings, alcohol treatment programs, the criminal justice system and public safety. Capitalizing on the recent trend toward public demand for wearable technology for health monitoring, the wristband will also be attractive to individuals who wish to use it for health and activity tracking. The vast majority of alcohol monitoring performed today is done in support of court-ordered alcohol treatment, for example in DUI cases. The ankle monitors used here are bulky, obtrusive and can interfere with the performance of daily routine activities. The goal of this program is to develop new wrist band style monitor that is smaller, nonintrusive, comfortable and more appealing to the wearer. This will facilitate treatment compliance and will make the product more appealing to the mass market, for example, in voluntary health and fitness sectors. The technical strategy for Phase I will focus on the fabrication and validation of the ultralow power printed alcohol sensor for measurement of transdermal alcohol and incorporation of the sensor and supporting electronics into a wristband sized package. Selected supporting physiological sensors will be identified and tested along with the alcohol sensor in a benchtop alpha prototype in Phase I. The system will provide BAC, physiological data, wireless data transmission to smart phone/web-based health systems, and will be able to self-calibrate and indicate out of calibration status. The device will be removable and able to operate for up to a year on a single coin cell battery. The Phase I program will provide a clear path to full prototype development and testing in Phase II. This device will provide societal benefits by improved compliance in alcohol abuse treatment, facilitation of public safety, new avenues to long term studies and knowledge in research and clinical settings, and improved general health. Economic benefits will accrue from job creation to provide the new technology and reduced healthcare costs related to alcohol abuse.

Public Health Relevance

This program will develop a new, noninvasive blood alcohol monitor in the form of wrist band. The device will be small, comfortable and compatible with routine daily activities. This device will prove beneficial in clinical and research settings, alcool treatment programs, the criminal justice system and public safety and will capitalize on the recent trend toward public demand for wearable technology for health monitoring.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-JJ (01))
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Dunty, Jr, William
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Kwj Engineering, Inc.
United States
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