DH iPhone alcohol tracker appThe Department of Health has launched an iPhone application to help people keep track of their drinking.

The application can be downloaded onto iPhone or iPod Touch devices and enables users to work out how many alcoholic units there are in their drink, check how much alcohol they have consumed over a set period such as a week or a month and get personalised feedback on their drinking habits.

The DH said it had launched the first official alcohol tracker application for mobile phones to coincide with the start of the festive season. Public health minister Gillian Merron added: “It is all too easy to lose track of how much you drink. So as the festive parties start to build up this innovative tool will help people keep tabs on their drinking – wherever they are.”

The DH said a recent industry-led report had predicted that 44% of mobile phone users would have access to the internet via their handset by the end of 2009. Of those accessing NHS information via their mobile phone 61% do so using an iPhone, 17% use an iPod Touch and 4% use a Blackberry.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said efforts to help people keep track of how much they are drinking over the festive season and throughout the year were a good idea.

He added: “Trying to stick within the daily unit guidelines will help people avoid the January slump and the long term health implications associated with drinking too much alcohol.”

The application is available from iTunes and can be downloaded from NHS Choices.

The DH said those who do not have a smartphone can text the word UNIT to 64746 to receive information on the NHS Choices alcohol calculator.