ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A number of products are on the market to test for alcohol, from key chain breathalyzers to saliva test strip kits. But an Albuquerque startup is hoping to develop a patch that will help stop DWI and also create a social movement.
While the state reports that New Mexico is at a 36-year low for drunk driving deaths, work still needs to be done to address the ongoing problem.
Anh-Dung Le, founder of Dermatec, said, “We believe we are going to be a very strong solution.”
“Our solution is a patch that changes color when it detects alcohol in your sweat,” he said.
Matthew Aaron, business development manager, said the patch would look similar to a nicotine patch.
“We think it will make a big difference,” Aaron said.
Products that test sweat for substances are not new, but Dermatec seeks something larger.
“It’s a social movement, that’s absolutely what it is,” said Julia Jones, the newest Dermatec team member, whose role is brand evangelist.
“Designated drivers are already qualified for amazing incentives, from local bars and restaurants, but is there a way to confirm that? Is there a way to make them truly look like a hero?” she explained.
Le said, “Designated drivers are heroes, and they are not celebrated enough.”
Le said Dermatec is seeking approximately $200,000 in funding to develop their alcohol sweat patch. Le said he would like to have the product hit the market in a year.
“We want to start here in our Albuquerque community, we’re based here, we’re going to stay here. We believe in our startup community, and we’re getting a lot of support,” Jones said.