WO2007040400A2 - Method and device for the detecting of alcohol in a subject - Google Patents

Method and device for the detecting of alcohol in a subject

Info

Publication number
WO2007040400A2
WO2007040400A2 PCT/NL2006/050244 NL2006050244W WO2007040400A2 WO 2007040400 A2 WO2007040400 A2 WO 2007040400A2 NL 2006050244 W NL2006050244 W NL 2006050244W WO 2007040400 A2 WO2007040400 A2 WO 2007040400A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
value
measuring
alcohol
subject
device
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NL2006/050244
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2007040400A3 (en )
Inventor
Freek Ton
Original Assignee
Holland Safety Systems B.V.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/05Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnosis by means of electric currents or magnetic fields; Measuring using microwaves or radiowaves
    • A61B5/053Measuring electrical impedance or conductance of a portion of the body
    • A61B5/0537Measuring body composition by impedance, e.g. tissue hydration or fat content
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/145Measuring characteristics of blood in vivo, e.g. gas concentration, pH value; Measuring characteristics of body fluids or tissues, e.g. interstitial fluid, cerebral tissue
    • A61B5/14532Measuring characteristics of blood in vivo, e.g. gas concentration, pH value; Measuring characteristics of body fluids or tissues, e.g. interstitial fluid, cerebral tissue for measuring glucose, e.g. by tissue impedance measurement
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/145Measuring characteristics of blood in vivo, e.g. gas concentration, pH value; Measuring characteristics of body fluids or tissues, e.g. interstitial fluid, cerebral tissue
    • A61B5/14546Measuring characteristics of blood in vivo, e.g. gas concentration, pH value; Measuring characteristics of body fluids or tissues, e.g. interstitial fluid, cerebral tissue for measuring analytes not otherwise provided for, e.g. ions, cytochromes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/68Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient
    • A61B5/6887Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient mounted on external non-worn devices, e.g. non-medical devices
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60KARRANGEMENT OR MOUNTING OF PROPULSION UNITS OR OF TRANSMISSIONS IN VEHICLES; ARRANGEMENT OR MOUNTING OF PLURAL DIVERSE PRIME-MOVERS IN VEHICLES; AUXILIARY DRIVES FOR VEHICLES; INSTRUMENTATION OR DASHBOARDS FOR VEHICLES; ARRANGEMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH COOLING, AIR INTAKE, GAS EXHAUST OR FUEL SUPPLY OF PROPULSION UNITS, IN VEHICLES
    • B60K28/00Safety devices for propulsion-unit control, specially adapted for, or arranged in, vehicles, e.g. preventing fuel supply or ignition in the event of potentially dangerous conditions
    • B60K28/02Safety devices for propulsion-unit control, specially adapted for, or arranged in, vehicles, e.g. preventing fuel supply or ignition in the event of potentially dangerous conditions responsive to conditions relating to the driver
    • B60K28/06Safety devices for propulsion-unit control, specially adapted for, or arranged in, vehicles, e.g. preventing fuel supply or ignition in the event of potentially dangerous conditions responsive to conditions relating to the driver responsive to incapacity of driver
    • B60K28/063Safety devices for propulsion-unit control, specially adapted for, or arranged in, vehicles, e.g. preventing fuel supply or ignition in the event of potentially dangerous conditions responsive to conditions relating to the driver responsive to incapacity of driver preventing starting of vehicles
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N33/00Investigating or analysing materials by specific methods not covered by the preceding groups
    • G01N33/48Biological material, e.g. blood, urine; Haemocytometers
    • G01N33/483Physical analysis of biological material
    • G01N33/497Physical analysis of biological material of gaseous biological material, e.g. breath
    • G01N33/4972Determining alcohol content
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B2562/00Details of sensors; Constructional details of sensor housings or probes; Accessories for sensors
    • A61B2562/02Details of sensors specially adapted for in-vivo measurements
    • A61B2562/0209Special features of electrodes classified in A61B5/04001, A61B5/0408, A61B5/042, A61B5/0478, A61B5/0492 or A61B5/053
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B2562/00Details of sensors; Constructional details of sensor housings or probes; Accessories for sensors
    • A61B2562/04Arrangements of multiple sensors of the same type
    • A61B2562/043Arrangements of multiple sensors of the same type in a linear array
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/05Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnosis by means of electric currents or magnetic fields; Measuring using microwaves or radiowaves
    • A61B5/053Measuring electrical impedance or conductance of a portion of the body
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60WCONJOINT CONTROL OF VEHICLE SUB-UNITS OF DIFFERENT TYPE OR DIFFERENT FUNCTION; CONTROL SYSTEMS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR HYBRID VEHICLES; ROAD VEHICLE DRIVE CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR PURPOSES NOT RELATED TO THE CONTROL OF A PARTICULAR SUB-UNIT
    • B60W2540/00Input parameters relating to the driver
    • B60W2540/24Drug level, e.g. alcohol

Abstract

Method and device for the detecting of the consumption of alcohol in a subject. A measuring device is provided with a measuring probe for the capacitive measuring of a first value at a first point in time, and the capacitive measuring of a second value at a second point in time. Connected to the measuring device is a processing device which is configured for deducing a measure of alcohol consumption from a differential value of the first value and second value. Application in a vehicle can prevent the vehicle from being driven by a subject deemed unfit to do so.

Description

Method and device for the detecting of alcohol in a subject

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a method and device for the detecting of the presence of alcohol in a subject.

Prior art

With regard to road safety, checks have long been carried out to determine whether the driver of a vehicle has consumed (too much) alcohol. In many cases, use is made of a breathalyser which measures the amount of alcohol present in exhaled air and deduces therefrom the level of alcohol in the blood. Above a specific threshold, a warning signal is generated or the apparatus is configured to print out a calibrated test report. In the apparatus disclosed in WO 2005/051700, the breath sensor is coupled to a device with which the vehicle is blocked. Only if a breath analysis reveals that less than a specific amount of alcohol has been detected, the vehicle is unblocked and the driver able to drive away.

Indeed, it is also known to take blood from a subject to be tested and to determine the level of alcohol in the blood sample directly using known chemical analysis methods.

It is also known from American patent application US 2004/0019283 to measure the level of alcohol in the blood of a test subject with the aid of Raman spectrometry by directing a laser beam into the eye.

Summary of the invention

The present invention seeks to provide a simplified method and device for the measuring of whether a specific subject is fit to drive a vehicle, in particular for determining whether the level of alcohol in the blood is below a specific threshold value. According to the present invention, there is provided a method for the detecting of consumption of alcohol in a subject, comprising the capacitive measuring of a first value at a first point in time, the capacitive measuring of a second value at a second point in time, and the deducing of a measure of alcohol consumption from a differential value of the first value and second value. Tests have surprisingly revealed that the presence of alcohol in a subject's body affects the influencing of a generated electromagnetic field. The influencing can be measured capacitively. By comparing measured results at two points in time, the first measurement being taken from a sober subject, it can be detected whether the subject has consumed alcohol. By appropriately adjusting the sensitivity and threshold values in the comparison, it can even be determined whether a specific permitted amount (blood alcohol level) has been exceeded. In a further aspect, the present invention relates to a device for the detecting of the consumption of alcohol in a subject, comprising a measuring device provided with a measuring probe for the capacitive measuring of a first value at a first point in time, and the capacitive measuring of a second value at a second point in time, and a processing device which is connected to the measuring device and is configured for the deducing of a measure of alcohol consumption from a differential value of the first value and second value. The measuring probe can, for example, be attached in the driver's seat of a vehicle or in the seat belts. The device can be connected to other systems in a vehicle in order to block the vehicle so that it cannot be driven by a subject deemed unfit to do so.

It is noted that French patent application FR-A-2 744 546 discloses a system wherein the presence of objects in a specific volume is detected capacitively, in particular for the detection/classification of passengers in a car. Use is made of a matrix of sensor electrodes attached in a seat. Apart from the presence and classification of the object, the measured results are put to no further use.

Further embodiments are recited in the dependent claims.

Brief description of the drawings

The present invention will be discussed hereinafter in greater detail on the basis of a number of illustrative embodiments, with reference to the appended drawings wherein the single figure shows a block diagram of an embodiment of the device according to the present invention.

Detailed description of illustrative embodiments

An embodiment of the present invention is embodied in the schematic representation of Figure. 1. Figure. 1 shows a measuring device 1 connected to a measuring probe 2 comprising, in this case, two electrodes. One of the electrodes 2 functions as a transmitter and the other of the electrodes 2 functions as a receiver. The two electrodes 2 generate, by means of activation by the measuring device ϊ, a static and/or dynamic electromagnetic field in the region around the electrodes 2. A capacitive measurement taken by the measuring device 1 provides an (instantaneous) measured value.

The electrodes 2 are attached in such a way that the body of a subject to be tested is located at all times in a substantially identical position with respect to the electrodes 2. In a vehicle such as a car, the electrodes 2 are attached, for example, in the driver's seat or in the seat belt straps. The mutual position of the subject and electrodes 2 will therefore be substantially the same even once the subject has got out of the vehicle and later got back into it.

In a rest state, when there is no one present in proximity to the electrodes 2, a standard value is measured with the aid of the measuring device. When a subject to be tested then assumes the fixed position with respect to the electrodes, the electrical conductivity of a human being (approximately 70 % of whom is made up of water) will disturb the electrical field generated by the electrodes 2, and this can be measured by the measuring device 1 , This results in a first measured value which can be stored. If the test subject has consumed alcohol, the effect of his body on the field generated by the electrodes 2 will be different. It is assumed that alcohol disturbs the electrical economy of the human body and conductivity is generally reduced. This results in a second measured value at a second point in time. From the difference of the first measured value and the second measured value it can be deduced whether the test subject has recently consumed alcohol and, if so, how much. If the difference exceeds a specific threshold value, it is assumed that the level of alcohol in the subject's blood is too high and that the test subject is unfit to drive the vehicle. A plurality of threshold values can also be used.

In the illustrated embodiment, the measuring device 1 is connected to a processing device in the form of a processor unit 10, for example via an input/output unit 12. The processor unit 10 is connected, in a manner known to a person skilled in the art, to a memory unit 11. The memory unit 11 comprises both memory for the storing of measured values and program memory for the storing of software instructions which can be carried out by the processor unit 10.

The measuring device 1 is configured for taking (for example, under the control of the processor unit 10) a first measurement at a first point in time and storing said first measurement (for example, in the memory unit 11) in order to compare it at a later point in time with a new measured value. Said first point in time is a point in time at which it is known that the driver is not under the influence of alcohol. At a second point of time (for example, after the subject has visited a restaurant or cafe) a second measurement is taken and the second measured value is compared with the first measured value. If a specific threshold is exceeded, this is related to a finding that the respective subject has an excessively high level of alcohol in the blood (excessively high blood alcohol level).

The input/output unit 12 is also connected to further units, such as a warning unit 4 (for example, a warning light or a buzzer) and a blocking unit 5. The blocking unit 5 can, for example, be connected to specific elements of the vehicle, for example to make it impossible to start the vehicle if an excessively high blood alcohol level is noted.

The location and the form of the electrodes 2, together with the activation by the measuring device 1 of the field to be generated, determine the sensitivity of the measurement to the level of alcohol in the test subject In a further embodiment, use can be made of a plurality of sets of electrodes 2, for example a first set of electrodes 2, which in cooperation with the measuring device 1 is highly sensitive to the presence of alcohol in the test subject, and a second set of electrodes 3, which in cooperation with the measuring device 1 is less sensitive (for example, by making the electrodes 3 smaller than the electrodes 2, see the parts drawn in dotted lines in the appended figure). This affords the possibility of carrying out the measurement in two stages: a first measurement which has low alcohol sensitivity and a second measurement which is highly sensitive to alcohol. In the case of a sober test subject, there should be little difference between the two measurements (that is to say, the difference between the standard value and the first measured value at the first point in time). As soon as a test subject has consumed alcohol, a clear difference will be measured at the second point in time with the aid of the two sets of sensors 2, 3.

This embodiment also provides an improved individualised first measurement in view of the fact that each subject is different (different weight, fat mass, etc.). hi particular, if the device is provided with a blocking unit 5, this can prevent one person who has consumed no alcohol from starting a car and another person then taking his place and driving away. After all, this is detected by the present invention.

In a further embodiment, the device can be provided with means which detect whether an attempt is being made to sabotage the device. The measuring device is thus able to detect, for example, whether the connections to the electrodes 2 have been short- circuited (in order thus to obtain a single measured value at each of the two points in time). The device can also be provided with further measuring sensor means which are connected to the processor unit and are configured, for example, for carrying out a conductivity measurement of the test subject. These results can then be combined with the capacitive measured results in order thus to obtain a more reliable detection of the consumption of alcohol.

Claims

1. Method for the detecting of consumption of alcohol in a subject, comprising the capacitive measuring of a first value at a first point in time, the capacitive measuring of a second value at a second point in time, and the deducing of a measure of alcohol consumption from a differential value of the first value and second value.
2. Method according to Claim 1, further including:
- the bringing into a predetermined mutual orientation of a measuring probe and the subject and the measuring with the measuring probe of the measured values to be measured capacitively, and
- deducing the measure of alcohol consumption by comparing the difference between the first measured value and second measured value with at least one threshold value.
3. Method according to Claim 2, wherein the measuring probe comprises two electrodes for the generating of a field which can be influenced by the subject.
4. Method according to Claim 2 or 3, wherein there is provided a further measuring probe which is less sensitive to variation of the presence of alcohol in the subject, and wherein the method further includes the measuring with the further measuring probe of a third measured value at the first point in time, and the measuring of a fourth measured value at the second point in time, and the comparing of the differential value of the first and second measured value with the differential value of the third and fourth measured value.
5. Method according to one of Claims 1 to 4 inclusive, further including the blocking of operation of a vehicle if the measure of alcohol consumption is too high.
6. Device for the detecting of the consumption of alcohol in a subject, comprising a measuring device provided with a measuring probe for the capacitive measuring of a first value at a first point in time, and the capacitive measuring of a second value at a second point in time, and a processing device which is connected to the measuring device and is configured for the deducing of a measure of alcohol consumption from a differential value of the first value and second value.
7. Device according to Claim 6, wherein a measuring probe connected to the measuring device is attached in a predetermined mutual orientation with respect to the subject, and the processing device is further configured for deducing the measure of alcohol consumption by comparing the difference between the first measured value and second measured value with at least one threshold value.
8. Device according to Claim 7, wherein the measuring probe comprises two electrodes for the generating of a field which can be influenced by the subject.
9. Device according to Claim 7 or 8, wherein there is provided a further measuring probe which is connected to the processing device and is less sensitive to variation of the presence of alcohol in the subject, and wherein the device is further configured for the measuring with the further measuring probe of a third measured value at the first point in time, and the measuring of a fourth measured value at the second point in time, and the comparing of the differential value of the first and second measured value with the differential value of the third and fourth measured value.
10. Device according to one of Claims 6 to 9 inclusive, wherein the processing device can be coupled to a vehicle in order to block operation of the vehicle.
PCT/NL2006/050244 2005-10-05 2006-10-05 Method and device for the detecting of alcohol in a subject WO2007040400A3 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
NL1030119A NL1030119C2 (en) 2005-10-05 2005-10-05 Method and device for the detection of alcohol in a person.
NL1030119 2005-10-05

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2007040400A2 true true WO2007040400A2 (en) 2007-04-12
WO2007040400A3 true WO2007040400A3 (en) 2007-10-25

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/NL2006/050244 WO2007040400A3 (en) 2005-10-05 2006-10-05 Method and device for the detecting of alcohol in a subject

Country Status (2)

Country Link
NL (1) NL1030119C2 (en)
WO (1) WO2007040400A3 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2400887A1 (en) * 2009-02-26 2012-01-04 Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT Methods and apparatus for detecting ethanol

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2744546A1 (en) 1996-02-07 1997-08-08 Leteurtre Jean Capacitance measurement system for detecting persons or objects
US20040019283A1 (en) 1998-07-13 2004-01-29 Lambert James L. Assessing blood brain barrier dynamics or identifying or measuring selected substances, including ethanol or toxins, in a subject by analyzing Raman spectrum signals
WO2005051700A1 (en) 2003-10-31 2005-06-09 Sheram Enterprises, Inc. Vehicle sobriety interlock device

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US5508203A (en) * 1993-08-06 1996-04-16 Fuller; Milton E. Apparatus and method for radio frequency spectroscopy using spectral analysis
KR100382154B1 (en) * 2000-02-22 2003-05-01 박원희 Device For Sensing Of Driver's Condition
DE10119527A1 (en) * 2001-04-12 2002-11-07 Sitec Sensortechnik Gmbh A method for mobile or stationary collection of body function and metabolic data of a living body and means for carrying out the method
US20040083031A1 (en) * 2002-10-29 2004-04-29 Okezie Pathfins C. Alcohol sensitive apparatus and method for vehicles
US6886653B1 (en) * 2003-10-22 2005-05-03 Dennis Bellehumeur System and method for preventing the operation of a motor vehicle by a person who is intoxicated

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2744546A1 (en) 1996-02-07 1997-08-08 Leteurtre Jean Capacitance measurement system for detecting persons or objects
US20040019283A1 (en) 1998-07-13 2004-01-29 Lambert James L. Assessing blood brain barrier dynamics or identifying or measuring selected substances, including ethanol or toxins, in a subject by analyzing Raman spectrum signals
WO2005051700A1 (en) 2003-10-31 2005-06-09 Sheram Enterprises, Inc. Vehicle sobriety interlock device

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2400887A1 (en) * 2009-02-26 2012-01-04 Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT Methods and apparatus for detecting ethanol
EP2400887A4 (en) * 2009-02-26 2014-08-20 Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus Vtt Methods and apparatus for detecting ethanol

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
NL1030119C2 (en) 2007-04-06 grant
WO2007040400A3 (en) 2007-10-25 application

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