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    Wrist-worn alcohol biosensor technology has developed rapidly in recent years. These devices are light, easy to wear, relatively inexpensive, and resemble commercial fitness trackers. As a result, they may be more suitable for a wide range of clinical and research applications. In this paper, we describe three pilot projects examining the associations between reported drinking behavior and transdermal alcohol concentration (TAC) derived from a new, wrist-worn alcohol biosensor (BACtrack Skyn) in diverse participant groups and settings. Study 1 (N = 3) compared Skyn-derived TAC with that from an ankle-worn alcohol sensor (SCRAM CAM) and breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) in a laboratory setting. Study 2 (N = 10) compared Skyn TAC with BrAC during a naturalistic drinking episode in the field. Study 3 (N = 12) used the Skyn to monitor alcohol use in the field for 2 weeks. Studies 2 and 3 also collected usability and acceptability data from participants. The results of Study 1 showed that the Skyn produced a TAC curve that closely resembled that of the validated SCRAM CAM anklet. In Study 2, Skyn detected drinking for all 10 participants (peak BrAC range: 0.02-0.21) with an average delay of 35.6 ± 10.2 min after the start of self-reported drinking. In Study 3, Skyn reliably recorded continuous TAC data showing multiple drinking episodes over the monitoring period. Participants in Studies 2 and 3 both reported Skyn as highly acceptable. Collectively, the results of these pilot studies show that the Skyn was able to reliably detect drinking events in the laboratory and natural environments. We offer suggestions for further refinements of alcohol biosensors and accompanying analytic software that may facilitate adoption of these devices as cost-effective, user-friendly, and reliable tools to passively and accurately assess alcohol use in the field. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Yan Wang, Daniel J Fridberg, Destin D Shortell, Robert F Leeman, Nancy P Barnett, Robert L Cook, Eric C Porges. Wrist-worn alcohol biosensors: Applications and usability in behavioral research. Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.). 2021 May;92:25-34

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    PMID: 33609635

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