Drinking Habits Revealed – BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer

BACtrack Smartphone BreathalyzerBACtrack’s Mobile Breathalyzer for smartphones is providing some interesting data on the drinking habits of Americans, according to a company press release.

When users of the device have location services turned on, their breath test readings are collected anonymously by BACtrack.

Based on 12 months of readings from more than 100,000 tests, the company has noted that -

The highest average blood-alcohol content days for US drinkers are – not surprisingly – New Year’s Eve (0.095%), Super Bowl Sunday (0.087%), Valentine’s Day (0.081%) and Fourth of July (0.079%).

Thanksgiving Day usage peaks at 7 p.m., while New Year’s Eve usage dramatically increases after midnight. Meanwhile, Valentine’s Day and Christmas Eve have users drinking earlier in the day than holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July.

New Year’s Day had the single highest number of unique users and the greatest number of tests - nearly double that of any other day. The next highest day for number of tests was Christmas Day.

Montana and South Dakota have the highest average blood alcohol content results in the country, each with 0.10%. Rounding out the top ten are West Virginia (0.098%), Oklahoma (0.096%), Idaho (0.089%), Vermont (0.087%), Tennessee (0.087%) – and all with 0.086%, Wisconsin, Nevada and Massachusetts.

The five states with the lowest BAC are New Hampshire (0.012%), Delaware (0.026%), Utah
(0.031%), Arkansas (0.037%), and Wyoming (0.051%).

The BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer Smartphone Breath Alcohol Tester for iPhone, iPad and Android Devices retails for $200, though is currently available at Amazon for $110.

Apple iWatch – Your Personal Blood Pressure Monitor?

Rumors abound that Apple is planning a big announcement soon on a revolutionary new iWatch, with sales likely late in the year. See MacRumors for a summary of the gossip.

For readers of this website, a big attraction will be a range of applications that turn the watch into your own portable health monitor.

According to MacRumors:

Laoyaoba [a Chinese website] also claims that the iWatch will come with a number of advanced health sensors, including those that measure heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose. Apple has also apparently developed an in-house sweat analysis sensor for the iWatch, which will all work with iOS 8′s Health app to track various health metrics. 

This information also contrasts a number of past reports that pointed to the iWatch focusing on more simple functionality to make the health-tracking experience more accessible to everyone. While Apple hired a number of personnel with expertise in fields like blood glucose monitoring, it has been noted that such technologies may not make it into the first-generation iWatch, which require a lengthy-approval process from the FDA and complex hardware integration. 

Sony smart watchMeanwhile, rivals are not standing still. A search for iWatch at Amazon yields more than 1,000 products, including the impressive Sony Smart Watch SW2 for Android Phones.

BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer Wins Good Design Award

BACtrack Mobile BreathalyzerBACtrack’s new mobile breathalyzer has won top prize in the consumer electronics category of the Australian Good Design awards.

I have already written about this product, describing it as:

…an innovative device that connects to recent models of iPhone, iPad or iPod (with Android versions on the way), and allows you to process your data in all kinds of ways.

Thus, you can track your results over a period of time, helping you gain insight into your drinking habits and how your body copes with your drinking. You can receive an estimate of when your blood alcohol count will return to zero. You can keep records of what you drink and where. You can share data on social media. And more.

The judges said:

BACtrack MobileThis is a clever little piece of technology that works well. Accuracy, functionality and user interface considerations are paramount in a product such as this and the designers have delivered on all fronts. The product works seamlessly across a Bluetooth interface and is very intuiative to use. This technology offers users an important service that will have a positive impact on reducing the number of drink driving incidents on our roads.

The device retails for $200, but is considerably cheaper at Amazon and some other online outlets.

Get the latest price on the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer Smartphone Breath Alcohol Tester.

“A Godsend” – Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

A further good review for the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, which I have already written about a couple of times, here and here.

Withings Help Mate appThis comes from the technology page of Canada.com, and describes the monitor as “a godsend for anyone who has to take their pressures daily or who has to take them while on the road.”

Here is the conclusion of the review:

PROS: Absolutely wireless; iPhone or Android Health Mate app has easy setup; easy to take with you on trips; Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone.

CONS: One size cuff doesn’t fit all arms; you run the device from the smartphone, so if you don’t have a smartphone you’re hooped.

TO SUM IT UP:  If you own a smartphone – as most people now do – and have high blood pressure that needs to be monitored, then the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor should meet all your requirements. It’s totally wireless, works via Bluetooth and the App offers a myriad of different measurements that you can actually send to your doctor.

Check Amazon for the latest prices and special deals.

BACtrack Breathalyzers – Saving Lives For 13 Years

I’ve been a consistent supporter of BACtrack breathalyzers over many years, in several websites. Their products are generally sound, and their cheap prices have meant that these are no longer products only for the professional.

BACtrack Keyring BreathalyzerI have little doubt that BACtrack breathalyzers have saved many lives.

The company is celebrating its 13th anniversary.

In a press release it says:

When BACtrack was founded in 2001, breathalyzers were primarily for law enforcement use and costs were high. Keith Nothacker, CEO and Founder of BACtrack, recognized that someone could be arrested and sent to jail with a Blood Alcohol Content over 0.08%, but that the general public had no way to actually test and measure their own BAC. As an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Nothacker developed the first line of consumer breathalyzers.

In 2004, BACtrack was the first company to ever receive U.S. Food & Drug Administration 510(k) marketing clearance to legally sell breathalyzers to consumers for personal use. Since then, the company has worked to simplify the product, reduce the cost of the technology, and increase consumer awareness.

Today, BACtrack offers a wide range of breathalyzers for both personal and professional use and they are used by consumers, businesses, schools, clinics, hospitals, law enforcement, and even the U.S. military around the world.

In April 2013, BACtrack launched the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer, the first smartphone breathalyzer to combine professional-grade fuel cell sensor technology, Bluetooth connectivity, and app-enabled features. With BACtrack Mobile, users can obtain a BAC result, view safety information, and monitor how alcohol affects the body at each BAC point. The ZeroLine feature also shows a user approximately how long alcohol will remain in their bloodstream after consumption.

BACtrack’s suite of products continues to be recognized by top research and media publications. BACtrack is featured in the 2013 December issue of Popular Science and the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer received the 2013 Best of What’s New Award (Popular Science’s top honor) for its innovation in health. Popular Science stated BACtrack and the other award recipients are “poised to change the world,” and they “challenge us to the see the future in a new light.”

Learn more about the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer and other BACtrack breathalyzers at Amazon.

“Stylish and Moderately Priced” – Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings-Wireless-Blood-Pressure-MonitorI have already written about the new Withings wireless blood pressure monitor, and now another good review comes from the MedGadget website.

The conclusion:

Having an easy to use blood pressure monitor can help improve compliance of patients that should be taking regular readings. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is stylish and moderately priced, intuitive to use, and is kind of fun compared to drug store models. The additional advantage of Withings is that combined with data collected by its other products, in a single graph you can visualize readings from their smart scale, activity tracker, and sleep monitor combined with the blood pressure readings from this device. Emailing such data to your doctor is easy and shows a real step toward the type of medical management that will conceivably be ubiquitous in the future.

The device is now available at Amazon (it wasn’t when I wrote my original report). Check this out for user reviews and for the latest price.

Smartphone Breathalyzers – A Review from Popular Mechanics

breathometerPopular Mechanics has posted a review of two of the new wave of smartphone breathalyzers – the Breathometer (which I have already written about) and the Alcohoot. As a control it used Amazon’s top-rated breath monitor, the BACtrack Select S80 Professional Breathalyzer.

An excerpt:

The Breathometer requires a log-in that can be frustrating after you’ve had a few and forgotten what password you used the last time you had a few.

…Alcohoot doesn’t require a log-in. And the device has you blow into a tube instead of through a hole. (The Breathometer made us worry if we were doing it right.)

And its verdict:

Both devices are accurate. Alcohoot was easier to use and had better features, but we’re not sure they justify paying more than twice the price.

Breathometer retails for $50, Alcohoot for $119. Check out Amazon for product and pricing information.

New Trend – The Personal Testing Kit

The new trend in personal health monitors is the personal testing kit, according to the latest Global Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor Market Report from Research and Markets. In addition, some manufacturers are bundling two or more products together.

Omron HEM-712C Blood Pressure MonitorThe report states:

Vendors in the global ambulatory blood pressure monitor market are adopting product bundling strategies, where two or more products or services are combined to achieve product differentiation and to provide better product offerings. Moreover, patients prefer such packaged offerings to individual products as they are cost-effective.

Thus, vendors are offering cuffs along with blood pressure monitors and other accessories that customers need when monitoring their blood pressure level. Moreover, vendors have started introducing personal testing kits that have blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, and pulse oximeters, and these are becoming popular across the globe.

Mixed Reviews for Smart Phone Breathalyzer App

breathometerThe Breathometer A01 Smartphone Breathalyzer for IOS and Android is getting a mixed reception, according to reviews at Amazon.

The Breathometer is a device that attaches to a smart phone or tablet, and measures a user’s breath alcohol content. A free app processes this information. It got its start after seeking financing from crowd-funding sites.

It currently has more than 40 customer reviews at Amazon, but with an average rating of just three stars.

Here is a five-star review:

I couldn’t be happier! I have learned a great deal using this product with my iPhone 5 over the last couple of weeks. The results it has given me have even caused me to not drive on one occasion. It is small and compact, well built, and can easily be shared since you make no actual contact with it (simply exhale into the device from an inch or so away). While it’s great to get my BAC estimates, the best part of the product is the additional in app features it has. Once it gives my BAC, it also estimates how long it will take for me to get back to 0.00, stores my activity, and also has a call a cab feature that locates nearby cab companies for a safe alternative to driving home.

I highly recommend for those who consume purely based on the education it gave me. That, in addition to its cool factor, I will likely give as a gift to others in the future.

And a two-star review:

I have tried on several occasions to use this device. I tried using it after one drink, blew a .02. Then I had a second drink, blew a .02 again. Hmm… After three drinks, I blew a 0.09, then tried again quickly after and it gave me a .04. I followed the directions properly, I even had a friend try it for me. Same thing happened with him. Perhaps I’m doing something wrong, but the app on the iPhone is pretty straightforward, so I can’t imagine what.

It retails for $49.99, but you should find it cheaper at Amazon.

And check out a review at Mashable for a similar device, the Alcohoot. The summary:

The Good

Conversation-starter • Sleek design • Easily accessible.

The Bad

An investment (more than $100) • Questionable utility • May require you to remove your phone from its case.

The Bottom Line

The Alcohoot was fun, intuitive and certainly enlightening for people interested in making the most of their own personal data.

The New Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings-Wireless-Blood-Pressure-MonitorSome good reports for the new Withings wireless blood pressure monitor, which has just been released.

According to Geeky Gadgets:

Previously the wired Withings Blood Pressure Monitor only supported iOS devices via a wire connection, but since the addition of the new Bluetooth connectivity users with either device can now wirelessly monitor and track their blood pressure with ease.

And the company says:

Simply slip on the cuff, turn on the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor and the Health Mate app will automatically launch. Position your arm properly and you’re now ready to take your blood pressure.

The app gives you an instant color feedback based on the National Health Institute standards for a quick and simple grasp of your measurements.

The app stores all your readings, syncs with the Withings Health Cloud and displays an easy to understand chart. Visualize your stats on your iPhone, iPod touch or Android device as well as on your online dashboard on your Mac or PC. The data is always backed up so you’ll never have to worry about losing your prior measurements.