George Koob, head of the NIH s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said he expected the device to be a valuable resource for alcohol research community.

It can help doctors accurately measure a patient s drinking history, and not just depend on the most recent tests, Koob said.

The blood alcohol monitoring devices used in legal and medical circles are big and bulky, like a ball and chain for the ones using it, said Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack.

The device in its current form will not, however, be a substitute for breathalyzers or blood tests used by law enforcement, because the device does not provide real-time blood-alcohol levels.Nothacker said it takes about 45 minutes for ethanol to be transmitted through the skin, and that the device is designed to provide a recent history of alcohol use.BACtrack has been experimenting with consumer-centric alcohol testing for several years.

Corrects third paragraph to show that the product has not been submitted to regulators for approval, not that it is awaiting approval and is expected to be on the market by year-end.

And corrects ninth paragraph to say it takes about 45 minutes for ethanol to be transmitted through the skin, not for it to show up in the blood Reporting by Mir Ubaid; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Cynthia Osterman

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