by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The National Institutes of Health is preparing to spend millions on research studies to develop jewelry and clothes that can monitor the alcohol intake of Americans.
The agency recently submitted two grant opportunities, asking for submissions from applicants to receive federal funding to develop “wearable alcohol biosensors.”
“Rapid advances are being made in wearable technology, including clothing, jewelry and other devices with broadly diverse functions that meet medical or consumer needs,” according to the funding opportunity.
The government wants to invest more taxpayer funding into alcohol monitors to encourage their “wider use.”
“Alcohol detection technology for personal alcohol monitoring has been successful in judicial and law enforcement settings, yet needs significant modification for wider use in other situations,” according to the announcement. “Current technological developments in electronics, miniaturization, wireless communication, and biophysical techniques of alcohol detection in humans increase the likelihood of successful development of a general use alcohol biosensor in the near future.”
The purpose of the projects is to design “non-invasive, discreet” wearable devices that can monitor blood alcohol levels in real time.
“The alcohol biosensor device should be unobtrusive, appealing to the wearer, and can take the form of jewelry, clothing,” the government said.