Customer: Goodwiller Oy
Promilless alcohol test strips determine your capability of driving, operating machinery or meeting your employer’s sobriety requirements in two minutes. No batteries, no calibration, fits into your wallet.
Groundbreaking product development
The popularity of self-diagnostic health and wellbeing tests is on the rise around the world. Market research companies estimate that the annual market for printed electronics is now from USD 3 to 30 billion, depending on what is included, and estimated to grow to USD 20 to 70 billion by 2030.
Goodwiller Oy, the developer of the Promilless alcohol test strip, is a growth company founded in 2013. The company specialises in health and wellbeing self-diagnostic products manufactured with printed intelligence technology. Goodwiller is based in Oulu, Finland, a renowned technology hub in the country.
Responsible alcohol control, only cheaper
Responsible consumption of alcohol has led many people to buy a personal breathalyser. Consumer-grade breathalysers, however, are somewhat bulky, rather expensive, inaccurate, require batteries to operate and need to be calibrated every 6 to 12 months.
The Promilless test strip revolutionises alcohol self-testing as it detects blood alcohol level from saliva. The invention grew out of the desire to develop an affordable, reliable and truly portable lightweight alternative that would not be accidentally left behind or misplaced when most needed. Disposability was also a consideration to make the use of the product as easy as possible.
Printed intelligence for mass production
Alcohol content in saliva follows the alcohol content in blood very closely. That is why the research and piloting, conducted at VTT’s PrintoCent pilot facility in Oulu, Finland, focused on creating a saliva test, an easier method than a blood test, and more accurate than the widely varying measurements by consumer-grade breathalysers. The reliability of the Promilless test has been validated with clinical studies carried out by an independent laboratory demonstrating actual situations with genuine people.
The Promilless test strip includes printable biochemical inks that have been developed together with VTT. In this case, the printed item is a biochemically reactive component indicating saliva alcohol content, combined with a test component to indicate that the test strip is working as it should.
Our product includes both usability and manufacturability innovations. During the development and pilot phase our own talented and competent team was able to utilise VTT’s strong know-how about the new printing technologies”
Petri Särkelä, Goodwiller’s CEO.
- Responsible alcohol consumption measurement is in high demand.
- Blood testing is impractical.
- Consumer-grade breathalysers are bulky, unreliable and need maintenance.
- Would there be a reliable, lightweight, maintenance-free, truly portable alternative?
- Goodwiller developed a printed intelligence test strip that measures alcohol from saliva.
- The Promilless test strip includes printable biochemical inks developed together with VTT and tested clinically.
- The paper strip is moistened against the tongue and changes colour in two minutes if alcohol content in blood exceeds 0.2 permille (0.02% BAC).
- Because of the printing method, low-cost mass production is possible.
- The Promilless test is far easier for the consumer to carry, remember and use than a breathalyser.
- Promilless needs no maintenance and each strip self-tests itself to indicate its reliability.
- The disposable paper substrate is environmentally friendly and allows “use-and-forget”.
- Sold in Finland at 400 locations, Promilless is set to expand into the rest of Europe.
The Promilless test is sold in affordably priced packets of two strips hermetically sealed in foil and packed into a cardboard box approximately one-and-a-half the size of a credit card. Each strip comprises two test zones, one for self-testing and the other for alcohol measurement.
The user places the strip against her saliva-moistened tongue for two seconds. This triggers a reaction in the self-test zone that changes colour to indicate the test is working as expected. This self-check is included to avoid false results due to incorrect storage, exceeding the use-before date and other environmentally induced faults.
The control zone that reacts to alcohol changes colour within two minutes if the saliva, and therefore, the blood alcohol content, exceeds the pre-set threshold value of 0.2 permille (0.02% BAC) – if it doesn’t, the user’s blood alcohol content is below the limit. The limit was chosen not only to comply with or be lower than the legal driving limit in most European countries; it was also based on consumer research feedback. Consumers see this as a good approach to promote responsible behaviour in traffic.
The intelligent paper used in Promilless is manufactured in Oulu by Goodwiller, employing the printing processes developed together with VTT. These printed intelligence technologies enable cost-efficient and large-scale production for a wide variety of applications, such as bio or electric sensors, other electronic components, or even fully functional devices direct from the printing line.
Sights set to conquering Europe
Compared with a breathalyser, Promilless is cheaper, lighter, easier to always have with you and practically indestructible. Try dropping your breathalyser into water or from the balcony by accident. Do the same with Promilless in its foil sachet and nothing happens to the product,”
says Mr Särkelä.
Goodwiller is presently selling and marketing Promilless in Finland, where more than 400 retail outlets already carry it. At a price point only a fraction of that of electronic breathalysers, combined with its inherent reliability and zero need for maintenance, Promilless is quickly gaining traction. The company has already set its sights to expanding first in the other Nordic countries, then further into the rest of Europe.