Hays FOCUS: Biometrics
A drop of blood can tell a lot about you. That’s good. And bad.
In this age of technological and scientific breakthroughs, the most revealing medical test may come from a single drop of your blood.
Every drop of the 1.5 gallons of blood that you have in your system teems with data. Not just about your current state of health, but also your future health.
“There’s a data set in blood that is 100 times more interesting than that in the genomes.”— Dr. Eugene Chan, CEO of the DNA Medicine Institute.
Like many scientists and entrepreneurs across the country, Chan’s work taps into the huge potential in blood to indicate what illnesses may be lurking in the body.
As with the simplicity of today’s biometrics testing, Chan believes that in the future, blood screening may be able to detect early breast cancer and even detect early signs of Alzheimer’s, increasing the likelihood that treatment begins before toxic changes start attacking the brain.
It’s easy to see why growing numbers of large companies are recognizing the significant advantages of blood screening. They are accessible, inexpensive, and provide potentially life-altering information.
Many health conditions may soon be detected with a simple blood test.
the time it takes for a basic Biometric screening that includes: blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, disease risk, body mass index (BMI), triglycerides levels — the amount of fatty acid in the blood.
of health risks are preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes.
the dollar amount that diagnostic tests, including blood-based, could grow to by 2018.
health threats that Biometrics screen for are: heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
Biometrics are becoming a healthy investment.
There is a healthy trend emerging in business today.
A growing number of large companies are taking action-oriented interest in the health of their employees by enhancing wellness programs to include Biometrics.
Basic Biometric screenings gives employees:
- A report identifying specific health risks
- Recommendations for addressing risks
- Suggesting providers who can assist in reaching goals
Biometric screenings also provide valuable information to many employees who do not get regular physicals. These screenings can alert them to medical conditions that may go unchecked.
Blood-based diagnostic tests are estimated to grow into a $27.5 billion business category by 2018.
As a result of the acceptance in combining Biometrics and wellness programs in the last two years, 64 percent of large employers are now offering incentives such as health insurance premium discounts/credits or gift cards.
All things considered, Biometrics are an investment that is protecting employees from potential health dangers such as risks for heart disease and diabetes and generates increased productivity and reduces sick days.
Biometrics information is good. Who may have access isn’t.
With the ever-emerging growth of digital technology, simply storing the data is problematic. Controlling access is the most critical issue, as the personal health data captured from Biometric screenings needs to stay confidential.
Because of HIPAA laws, personal medical information is required to be kept strictly confidential.
In fact, as storing data becomes more of an issue, privacy becomes a greater concern. According to industry reports, a review of privacy policies showed that many wellness vendors adopt policies allowing them to share identifiable data with unnamed third parties and agents who are working to improve employee health. Beginning January 1, 2017, there are new confidentiality protections from GINA and the ADA which require disclosures to employees as to how collected wellness data will be used. Your Hays Representative can help ensure you stay compliant with these new standards.
Thus the digital data privacy issue is three fold:
- Growing amounts of digital data
- Finding secure storage
- Protecting confidentiality
With the growing popularity of wearables, more health data is on the way.
ABI Research projects that by 2018, more than 13 million Fitbits and other wearable devices used in corporate wellness programs will be collecting and storing personal health data.
As Robert Gellman, an independent privacy and security consultant with 40 years experience, explained, “I don’t know of any best practices from the wellness industry to handle the data. It’s the Wild West.”
If you have questions about Biometrics, data security, and wellness programs working together, your Hays representative can provide the answers and guidance you need to make smart and safe decisions for your company and employees.
To learn more about Biometrics, please visit: http://haysfocus-biometrics.com/