NIH Holds Competition to Create Better Wearable Alcohol Biosensor

The first prize winner will be awarded $200,000.

NIH and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have issued a challenge to improve a wearable alcohol biosensor. According to the NIH press release, the wearable biosensor will help researchers, clinicians, therapists, and individuals by providing more accurate data on how much an individual is drinking.

The winner will be awarded $200,000, and the winning prototype is expected to "improve on existing technology by providing real-time monitoring in an inconspicuous package appealing to the general public."

"This project is designed to stimulate investment from public and private sectors in the development of improved alcohol biosensors that will be appealing to researchers, treatment providers, and individuals," said George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of NIAAA.    

Specifically, NIAAA is looking for a non-invasive design, which could be in the form of jewelry, clothing, or another format that comes into contact with the body. The device must be able to measure blood alcohol level, interpret and store the data or transmit it to a smartphone or other device by wireless transmission.

Competition submissions will be accepted until Dec. 1, 2015, and winners will be announced on or after Feb. 15, 2015.

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