Saliva-activated alcohol test reveals suitability to drive in seconds
Finnish company Goodwiller, in collaboration with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has launched a rapid alcohol test that measures the blood alcohol content from saliva. The disposable test strip reveals the user’s fitness to drive within a couple of minutes and is small enough to fit into a wallet.
The ‘Promilless’ product test is based on the use of printed biochemical ingredients, activated and analysed by the addition of human saliva. The accuracy of this method is based on the understanding that the alcohol content of saliva in relation to the blood alcohol content is 1:1 – a direct correlation.
The Promilless strip’s sensitivity to alcohol content is 0.2 parts per thousand (described in its publicity material as 'promilles'). At this level, a ‘negative’ reading will be recorded, indicating that the subject is unfit to drive.
Users are instructed not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum 15 minutes prior to using the test. To begin, the user places the green-yellow test area on the strip on their tongue for two seconds. The results are revealed within the next two minutes – much like a pregnancy test kit.
If only the green control area has darkened, the blood alcohol content is less than 0.2 parts per thousand. If both the green control area and the yellow test area have darkened, the subject’s blood alcohol content is over that level and they are unfit to drive.
“On the basis of a saliva sample, the innovation indicates when the blood alcohol content exceeds 0.2‰ (promilles). The test result is indicated as the darkening of the test strip’s ‘intelligent paper areas’”, said Marika Kurkinen, project manager from VTT.
“With the alcohol test, we want to provide consumers with an easy and convenient way for ensuring that they are fit to drive and a possibility to act responsibly in traffic,” said Petri Särkelä, CEO, Goodwiller.
The use of different self-diagnostic tests related to health and well-being is expected to increase significantly in the future. The printed intelligence technology developed by VTT enables cost-efficient and large-scale production.
In a research programme carried out by VTT between April-May 2016, 41 research subjects were monitored and tested, the results compared with breathalysers intended for professional and authority use. In total, approximately 230 test events were logged.
Planning and implementation of the research protocol was carried out by an independent party and the research was approved by the Ethics Committee of Pohjois-Savo Hospital District.
The Promilless kits are available now. One pack, containing two strips, costs 15 euros.