Biometrics: The Inside Story

In this age of technological and scientific breakthroughs, the most revealing medical insights may come from a single drop of blood. Biometric screenings provide employees with a detailed analysis of their current state of health, as well as insights into what the future might hold. By understanding potential issues, blood screenings could help address concerning health complications before they become serious problems.

There’s a data set in blood that is ten times—even 100 times—more interesting than that in the genome.”

Dr. Eugene Chan

Every drop of the 1.5 gallons of blood flowing through the human body teems with data. By matching blood samples to height, weight and BMI, screenings can help identify health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

The future of biometrics

Blood samples are currently an effective measure of health, but scientists and entrepreneurs are taking steps to advance the capabilities of biometric screening. No longer satisfied with the simple metrics of today’s tests, doctors like Eugene Chan, CEO of the DNA Medicine Institute, want to take testing to the next level. “There’s a data set in blood that is ten times—even 100 times—more interesting than that in the genome,” he told Time Magazine.

Chan’s work taps into the vast potential in blood to indicate what illnesses may be lurking in the body. Chan believes that in the future, blood screening could detect early signs of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, increasing the likelihood that treatment begins before toxic changes start attacking the brain and increasing the potential for successful recovery.

Health through awareness

While Chan is certainly forward-thinking, today’s biometric screenings can still improve health through awareness. By providing a snapshot of overall health, blood testing can uncover potentially unknown conditions, such as high cholesterol or blood pressure, which can be managed with simple lifestyle changes if detected early enough. Those small choices could have a big impact; biometric screening may help lower worker’s compensation costs and reduce the number of large claims.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), more than $225 billion is lost every year because of absenteeism, which includes employees with illnesses and those who suffer from chronic diseases. Blood tests performed during a biometric screening can identify what the CDC found to be the most expensive health conditions in the US: high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Often these illnesses can be managed by creating more informed employees who understand the risks associated with not taking care of their health. Biometric screening may be the wakeup call many need to create lasting lifestyle changes.

More about wellness

There are many paths a company can take to develop a wellness program. A carefully designed multi-dimensional program can lead to long-term results and a healthier workforce.

Contact us to learn more about how Hays can help build a targeted wellness program right for your organization.