Comparing ION to SCRAM

Comparing ION to SCRAM

If you were recently ordered to wear an alcohol monitor due to DUI or other event, now is probably a moment in your life that is filled with regret about the past, as well as anxiety about the future. The previous generation of alcohol monitors that are often prescribed in DUI cases such as the SCRAM ankle bracelet are bulky, loud, burdensome, do not provide data real-time, and are highly stigmatizing. As a result, they increase stress levels rather than reduce them.

At Milo Sensors, we aim to help reduce your stress levels and help you focus on building a healthy future. That’s why we recently launched ION Wearable: the first discreet wearable alcohol monitor. ION Wearable can help demonstrate that you are not consuming alcohol by non-invasively measuring transdermal alcohol and converting that into an estimate of alcohol consumption. We created ION Wearable to combine the non-invasive alcohol sensing of ankle bracelets together with the discreet sensing of glucose monitors. As a result of our state-of-the-art technology, the contrast in size between ION and a SCRAM ankle bracelet is stunning:


ION SCRAM size comparison

We have heard dozens of horror stories from people that have personal experience with SCRAM ankle bracelets. We even got sent some disturbing photographs of blisters and bleeding ankles that resulted from wearing SCRAM ankle bracelets. That’s not to mention the daily social stigma that comes with wearing these bulky and antiquated devices. Because ankle bracelets are based on  technology that is almost 20 years old, they often require a separate modem to connect. Furthermore, the generated reports are not real-time, and so you could be missing days of data with an ankle bracelet and only find out a week later. To us, these limitations of the existing technology seemed like opportunities for us to create a superior product offering.

The platinum fuel cell technology that SCRAM uses is prone to drift and fouling. To overcome the baseline drift issue, SCRAM engineers came up with a clever solution that uses a reservoir to store transdermal alcohol, and pumps and valves to mechanically sample that reservoir every thirty minutes in order to maximize the signal to noise ratio. It’s a clever solution from a purely technical point of view, but what it means for customers is that there are loud pumps and valves clicking and whirring every thirty minutes. We have had some customers describe that they have to pretend it’s their cell phone vibrating while in a business meeting. Another customer reported being woken up every thirty minutes. At Milo Sensors, we do not believe that waking people up every thirty minutes in the middle of the night is going to make life better for anyone.

ION Wearable overcomes the issues of fouling and baseline drift of traditional platinum fuel cells by using a patented enzymatic disposable cartridge system. There are no pumps or valves and so ION Wearable is completely silent. ION Wearable connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone and so you don’t have to go back to a modem base-station to sync data, you can travel with ease. In the ION App, you can see your data in real-time, and even share your data with your support network with a built in sharing feature. Most importantly, ION Wearable looks like a fitness tracker, and so eliminates the stigma and burden of large bulky ankle bracelets such as SCRAM. We have summarized these differences in the table below:


ION Wearable



Smartphone-app connected

Overcomes sensor fouling

Real-time data


If you or someone you know is trying to decide between SCRAM and ION Wearable, we think the choice is clear!

ION SCRAM size comparison 2

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