Smartphones Can Now Spot Alcohol Intoxication in a User

Alcohol Intoxication

Excessive alcohol intake is not only damaging to the liver but also increases the likelihood of accidents and mishaps. That’s why the health experts suggest users to responsibly use alcohol and never exceed the limit. Fortunately, the smartphones will now be able to tell the alcohol intoxication by identifying the walking pattern of its user. This study is published in the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Having complete information on how much a person can handle and when to stop drinking is necessary to put a hold on the alcohol intoxication. It will not only reduce the risk to health but also avoid the cases of drunk driving or passing out anywhere.

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Brian Suffoletto from the School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh is the lead author of this study. He says that using the specialized sensors can do this part and the good thing is that no one has to do something extra for this added benefit. People take their smartphones anywhere they go and this is probably the most practical way to control alcohol habits.

Interestingly, this research is more than just academic research. The stories about people who find it hard to stop taking alcohol, drunk driving, and passing out in public transport and exposure to a high risk of theft, robbery, and assault are common. If only people can get something that can warn them from getting into such problems, the chances to experience physical or mental damage is much likely to avoid.

Suffoletto has also worked as an emergency physician during which has dealt with numerous cases caused by alcohol intoxication. After experiencing all these, he was able to work on a digital intervention which can save people from getting exposed to these risks associated with alcohol, and finally, the result is here.

Suffoletto along with his colleagues investigated some young and middle-aged adults from the range 21 and 43 years old. 22 of them were selected to be a part of this experiment. These people were given an alcoholic drink which could intoxicate them. Their breath was analyzed for checking the alcohol concentration and they were subjected to a walk test to check the efficiency of smartphone-based identification.

All participants completed a 10 step walk back and forth. The smartphone was attached to these people’s back to record the results. Once the participants were over their alcohol intoxication limit the smartphone was able to detect them through the functional impairment caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

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But there is one limitation to this study; people don’t really carry the smartphones on their backs. There is a dire requirement to analyze the results based upon the real-time usage of the smartphones i.e. when it is carried in hands or inside their pockets.

Suffoletto urges to study this digital intervention in detail especially on how to make it more useful in the practical world. If these trials are successful it will significantly help people to control their alcohol consumption and reduced the risk of accidents and health damages.




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