The National Institutes of Healths National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is seeking industry input on how to design and produce a wearable device to monitor blood alcohol levels in real time.
NIH announced the Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge in a March 2 Federal Register notice which states that although current technologies for real-time monitoring of alcohol consumptionused in criminal justice applicationshave performed adequately, they have disadvantages for broader use.
While current technology for continuous alcohol monitoring takes a reading every 30 minutes, NIH is seeking a solution that improves on this interval and most closely approximates real time monitoring and data collection.
The device should be able to quantitate blood alcohol level, interpret and store the data, or transmit it to a smartphone or other device by wireless transmission, according to the notice. Data storage and transmission must be completely secure in order to protect the privacy of the individual. The device should have the ability to verify standardization at regular intervals and to indicate loss of functionality. The power source should be dependable and rechargeable. A form of subject identification would be an added benefit. The device can be removable.
In addition, NIH states that the device should be inconspicuous, low profile, and appealing to the wearer and that the design can take the form of jewelry, clothing, or any other format located in contact with the human body.
First prize in the Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge is $200,000 and second prize is $100,000. The submission period begins March 2 and ends Dec. 1. Winners will be announced on or after February 15, 2016.
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