Smartphones may be able to tell you when you're drunk

August 18, 2020 – 14:35 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Your smartphone may be able to tell you when you’ve had one alcoholic drink too many — by measuring changes in the way you walk, CNN says.

Having access to real-time data about intoxication could help people reduce their alcohol intake, prevent drink driving, and even alert a sponsor for someone receiving treatment for alcohol abuse, researchers associated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have said.

Researcher and emergency physician Brian Suffoletto studied 22 adults between the ages of 21 and 43, and gave volunteers a vodka drink with enough alcohol to produce a breath concentration of 0.2%.

In , the legal drink drive limit, based on blood alcohol concentration per grams of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, is 0.04 grams.

Participants had an hour to finish the alcohol, and then had their breath alcohol concentration analyzed hourly over seven hours as they performed a walking task, walking in a straight line for 10 steps, before turning around and walking back 10 steps.

Researchers secured a smartphone to the participants’ lower back with an elastic belt. Using an app to record accelerometer data, the phones then measured acceleration, side-to-side, up-down and forward and backward motions while participants walked. Some 90% of the time, researchers were able to use changes in gait detected by the phone sensors and the app to identify when a person’s blood alcohol limit exceeded 0.08%.

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