It is often hard to estimate how much you drink. This can be one of the reasons why people often drink too much alcohol. But technology may come in handy to evaluate health-risky behaviours.
New research points to mobile phones: “Smart-phones can track how much someone drinks very quickly and easily,” said Danielle Ramo, assistant professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine “Smart-phone apps have a lot of promise because of their ubiquity, because of their integration into people’s lives.”
Alcohol intake can be monitored with apps and gadgets, helping especially people suffering from alcoholism. This condition is “not something that we can control with willpower alone,” Dr. Ramo added. “Research has shown that computerized interventions — like smart-phone apps — are more accurate at gauging how much alcohol someone has consumed than face-to-face meetings with a counsellor.”
Ways your smart-phone could help
Smart-phone alcohol tracker apps can help users to limit their alcohol consumption based on body weight calculations and alcohol intake, helping them realize when to stop drinking. But, considering not all apps are reliable when claiming to accurately estimate blood alcohol levels, Dr. Ramo advices users to check for real clinical data and health organizations reliable support for these apps before downloading.
Wearable biosensors can be another way of monitoring alcohol consumption, through tracking blood alcohol levels :”In the future, a biosensor worn on the wrist will help people monitor themselves in real time. The attention and self-monitoring is really what would make biosensors effective.”
Via Bluetooth or a headphone jack, the smart-phone can be turned into a portable alcohol monitor, just like polices use portable breathalysers to check for drunk drivers.
Even they are not cheap, ignition interlock systems can save people’s life, preventing them to drive while drunk. These systems prevent the car from starting unless a sober driver has blown into a device that analyses blood alcohol content. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the systems “reduce repeat offences for driving while intoxicated (DWI) by about 70% while they are installed” and even if there are ways to get around ignition interlocks, newer and safer devices are being developed.
Technology turns out to be a reliable ally when it comes to over-drinking problems, through a multitude of ways that can monitor and limit your behaviour or guide for help in emergency situations.