Scientists at the University of California San Diego, in the USA, have developed a wearable device, in fact, a very small biosensor that can be easily placed under the skin, without a complicated surgical intervention. This wearable biosensor is meant to help specialists monitor the alcohol and drugs consumption in the patients in rehabilitation programs.
The alcohol and drugs monitoring biosensor was only tested in the lab, at the moment
When a subject consumes alcohol, an enzyme that is contained inside the sensor produces a reaction that makes the sensor send data to a portable device, such as a smartwatch, for example, wirelessly.
So far, this monitoring sensor was only tested in the lab, where the scientists installed it under a lab animal’s skin and tested with ethanol.
If all the tests will succeed, as the scientists expect, the implant will be also subjected to humans trials. In the meantime, the developers are optimistic about it and consider that this wearable biosensor can be tuned to monitor drugs consumption.
The wearable sensor is meant to monitor alcohol and drugs consumption in patients in rehabilitation programs
“Ultimately, the goal is to create an effective device to monitor the amount of alcohol and drugs in patients in rehabilitation programs,” said Drew Hell, the leading author of the project.
To put it in a simple way, every time a patient is drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, the rehabilitation center specialist who takes care of him will find out immediately, being alerted by an application which could be installed on his smartwatch or smartphone and which will be directly connected to the sensor.
To some extent, the method of installing a wearable biosensor under a patient’s skin is probably not so ethical, scientists say, but, definitely, it can help an addict get rid of alcohol or drugs consumption, indirectly, by helping his doctor and family to know precisely his progress and, when needed, to come in support.