Scientists have developed a temporary wearable tattoo that monitors your alcohol levels by your sweat. The information is then sent to a smart phone to determine how much alcohol you’ve actually had.
The “tattoo” is comprised of a chemical that stimulates sweat and one that sees the changes in the electrical current in the perspiration. This keeps track of alcohol levels and sends the data to the user’s mobile phone.
This new technology could help lessen drinking and driving as well as drinking related deaths. If users see they are too drunk to drive based on scientific evidence, it may make them change their mind about getting behind the wheel, no matter how they “feel.”
This technology can also be applicable to alcoholics or those serving probation and are not allowed to drink alcohol during that time. Instead of wearing an ankle monitor, the tattoo could provide a less clunky and more accurate way of caretakers monitoring alcohol intake.
Parents may also be able to use the device to ensure that their children are not out drinking, or to keep them safe if they find they have been doing so.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 88,000 people die from alcohol related deaths annually. Alcohol related deaths also accounted for almost 31% of driving fatalities.
Alcohol related deaths are the fourth leading cause of preventable fatalities in the United States, meaning the problem is approaching a national crisis.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, where the tattoo was invented, say that in order to try and curb fatalities, police have been using breathalzyers and blood tests. However, often people don’t take these tests until they are already extremely drunk and potentially in danger. The tattoo will allow them to monitor themselves as they go.
Previously, researchers have attempted to measure alcohol levels through sweat, but they found it took far too long. In some cases, it took up to three hours to measure properly.
However, this new device allows people to see how much they have been drinking in as little as eight minutes, making it much easier to self-monitor or monitor someone else.