The company which performs the DNA tests for The Jeremy Kyle Show on ITV is expanding its operations in Ireland after obtaining sole distribution rights for a device which detects alcohol through a person’s sweat.
The SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring ankle bracelet – dubbed the ‘sobriety tag’ – 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.
AlphaBiolabs introduced the SCRAM CAM 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 has its headquarters in Warrington and established a base in Dublin in 2018, is launching the device in Ireland after a surge in inquiries.
AlphaBiolabs has secured distribution rights from SCRAM CAM’s US manufacturer SCRAM Systems.
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.
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 said: “SCRAM CAM has been shown to have a significant impact on changing behaviours in vulnerable and higher-risk alcohol dependent adults.
“Continuous monitoring has been shown to enforce participant sobriety, compliance and accountability.”
In addition to SCRAM CAM, AlphaBiolabs provides DNA and drug and alcohol testing services to a client base which includes the public, businesses, family and immigration solicitors, social services, the media and universities.