AlphaBiolabs expands into Ireland with alcohol-detecting ankle bracelet

Warrington firm, which carries out DNA testing for ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show and sells DNA testing kits in Home Bargains, has obtained sole distribution rights for the device in Ireland from the US manufacturer

AlphaBiolabs
SCRAM CAM, an ankle bracelet that can detect alcohol through the wearer’s sweat

 

DNA testing specialist AlphaBiolabs is expanding into Ireland with the ‘SCRAM CAM’ – and ankle bracelet that can detect alcohol through the wearer’s sweat.

The Warrington firm, which carries out DNA testing for ITV’s The Jeremy Kyle Show and sells DNA testing kits in Home Bargains, has obtained sole distribution rights for the device in Ireland from the US manufacturer.

Dubbed the ‘sobriety tag’ – the SCRAM CAM is designed to tackle excessive drinking and is used by local authorities, courts and child protection agencies to support treatment and enhance supervision for their clients.

Steady growth

AlphaBiolabs introduced the device into the UK in 2017 and has seen steady growth in demand from social workers, family court solicitors and members of the public. Now the company, which established a base in Dublin in 2018, is launching the device in Ireland after a surge in inquiries.

Rachel Davenport, commercial director of AlphaBiolabs, said: “We are growing our business in Ireland in all of our markets, so it makes sense to offer SCRAM CAM too. It’s a non-invasive method of testing which is ideal for those who dread blood tests, injections and needles.

“Samples are taken every half hour around the clock, seven days a week. It’s the most accurate and comprehensive method of measuring alcohol on the market. Unlike breathalysers, which provide a snapshot measurement, and hair strand analysis, which gives an historic overview over several months, SCRAM CAM allows real-time, continuous monitoring.”

The tamper-proof and waterproof bracelet can be worn for between a day and several months, depending on what level of monitoring is required. It tests for the presence of alcohol every 30 minutes.

AlphaBiolabs
Rachel Davenport, a director at Warrington-based AlphaBiolabs

 

Transdermal emissions

Once alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, some of it is eliminated through the skin in the form of sweat. The bracelet is fitted with a pump which takes in a sample of these transdermal emissions. Then a fuel cell reacts with ethanol to measure for the presence of alcohol.

SCRAM CAM can distinguish between consumed alcohol that metabolises through the skin, and alcohol which has been spilled or is contained in a product sprayed around the bracelet, such as hairspray.

AlphaBiolabs arranges for a staff member to fit and remove the bracelet as required by the customer, and they then monitor the results and provide reports.

Results are gathered via temperature and infrared sensors on the device and uploaded to a portal without the wearer needing to do anything. SCRAM CAM causes minimal disruption to the wearer’s everyday life.

The device is also designed to detect whether anything has been put between the skin and the bracelet to obstruct the alcohol testing. Rachel added: “SCRAM CAM has been shown to have a significant impact on changing behaviours in vulnerable and higher-risk alcohol dependent adults.”

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