DENVER—The Denver Business Journal has named Highlands Ranch-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) as one of the Top Ten Fastest Growing Large Private Companies in Colorado. Appearing for the first time on the list, known for identifying the ones to watch in Colorado’s economy, the company was as pleased to be considered one of the list’s “large” companies, as by the Top Ten ranking. According to AMS Chairman and CEO Mike Iiams, it’s recognition that means a great deal to both the employees and the company’s private investors. “We still feel like a small, entrepreneurial organization, with very little turnover and a cohesive mission, and we’re working to make a difference in the world. To be acknowledged as one of the “large” companies in the state, as well as one of the Top Ten fastest growing companies, signifies an important stepping stone for us,” says Iiams.
The company manufactures a high-tech alcohol ankle bracelet, calledSCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor). The system includes a bracelet, worn on the ankle 24 hours a day, that actually samples a person’s sweat every hour in order to determine if they’ve been consuming alcohol. Used now in 36 states on drunk drivers and domestic violence offenders, among others, the technology has seen rapid adoption in the corrections market. According to the Denver Business Journal, which published its Fastest Growing Private Companies list in the July 17, 2006, issue, AMS grew 555% between 2003 and 2005. To-date, in just three years on the market, the product has monitored nearly 20,000 offenders and conducted some 38 million alcohol tests.
“We’re both a hardware and a software company, which is part of what makes us unique,” says Iiams, who spent 14 years in senior management at the former JD Edwards & Company before retiring in 1997. The system includes a bracelet/modem combination, which goes through final build and quality control at the AMS headquarters facility in Highlands Ranch. “It’s not just the technology in the bracelet that’s unique, it’s the vast amounts of data that we process, analyze and store that make it an interesting mix.” According to Iiams, AMS is currently processing more than 227,000 transactions a day¾or well over 6.8 million transactions each month. “And we’re doing it all from a small office with only 46 employees,” says Iiams.
SCRAMNET, is a web-based application Iiams says is really the heart of the system. Once each day, the bracelet communicates all of its test data to a modem in the subject’s home, via a wireless Radio Frequency signal (similar to a television remote). Then the data is sent, via a secure phone line, to SCRAMNET, which analyzes and stores the data and creates customized reporting of test results. SCRAMNET is managed by AMS and hosted by Colorado-based ViaWest. Courts, treatment providers and probation departments access results via SCRAMNET using a standard web browser.
Early adopters of the technology include the Michigan Department of Corrections, which participated in BETA tests of the SCRAM System in 2002 and became one of the company’s pioneer customers when the product officially launched in June of 2003. Michigan is still the largest user of SCRAM, although utilization is growing in the company’s own back yard, with programs in the City and County of Denver, Larimer and Jefferson counties, among others. Iiams says the company will begin to look to markets beyond the corrections industry in the next 12 to 18 months, including Employee Assistance Programs, private treatment centers and even the healthcare industry. Recently, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center published a review of the SCRAM System, and the school is considering additional studies in conjunction with their liver transplant program, where transplant candidates are already required to be sober for an extended period of time before being placed on the donor recipient list. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also conducted a study of the SCRAMSystem, and the results are expected to be published some time in 2006.
Interest in SCRAM has gone beyond community corrections and into the legislative agenda, as well, with five states passing legislation that specifically includes Continuous Alcohol Monitoring in their DUI sentencing language. Many other states, including Alaska and California, are in the process of evaluating the technology and incorporating it into future legislation, as well. According to Iiams, one of the most significant trends in community corrections that has paved the way for rapid adoption of the technology is the offender-pay model, where offenders are required to participate in the cost of their community supervision. According to the company, in 90 percent of the SCRAM Programs in place around the country, offenders are paying for all or a significant portion of the $12 daily monitoring fee, which covers both equipment and monitoring costs.
The Executive Team for AMS includes a number of ex-JD Edwards & Company executives, who were all recruited by Iiams over the last several years based on their successful experience taking a high-tech product to market. Both SCRAM and the company have been featured prominently in hundreds of television and newspaper stories across the county, including segments on ABC’s Good Morning America and, more recently, a segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
About The SCRAM System
The SCRAM System includes an ankle bracelet/modem combination, similar to a home arrest system. But instead of monitoring an offender’s location, the ankle bracelet uses transdermal analysis to measure for alcohol consumption. At least once each day, the offender is required to be within 30 feet of a modem, placed in their home or at their place of work. The bracelet uploads the test data to the modem, which in turn sends the results toSCRAMNET, a web-based server hosted by AMS.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor®, or SCRAM®, the world’s only continuous alcohol testing system that uses Transdermal Analysis to measure for alcohol consumption. SCRAM fully automates the alcohol testing and reporting process, providing community corrections agencies and treatment organizations nationwide with the ability to classify offenders and assess compliance with sentencing requirements and treatment guidelines. Alcohol Monitoring Systems employs 47 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.