What is Biometrics Screening?
What is a Biometrics Screening: is a clinical screening that’s done to measure certain physical characteristics. Biometrics screenings are short health exams that include bloodwork and measurements like height, weight, and waist circumference.
Biometrics screening has grown in popularity in recent years, with more than 50 percent of large firms offering some type of screening program in 2014. Many companies are now taking a proactive approach encouraging their employees to undergo biometric screening. Moreover, this medical procedure aims to determine whether someone has underlying health conditions including diabetes and heart disease, and monitor them.
Furthermore, depending on who you ask, a biometrics screening could go by many names. Often called a health screening or biometrics assessment, however, it does the same thing no matter the name. Rather than asking what it’s called, the important question is what does a biometrics screening measure? Well, continue reading to learn more about what a biometrics screening is.
Besides, if you are considering getting a biometrics screening, this article will tell you all about the process and everything you need to know about it.
Understanding Biometrics Screening?
A biometrics screening is the measurement of the physical characteristics of a person, such as height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and aerobic fitness levels. Biometric screenings are often part of a workplace health assessment that can benchmark and evaluate changes in the employee’s health over time.
Moreover, a biometrics screening aims to alert you to any possible health risks. It also provides an easy way to keep track of changes in your vital statistics from year to year. Employers may request biometric screenings to provide a baseline assessment of the overall health of their workforce and monitor emerging health conditions that may lead to more serious health concerns.
Furthermore, the results from the screening may be used to identify specific health conditions. A patient may learn of their unknown diabetes or heart disease from the screening. Just as importantly, patients may find out they are at an increased risk for these conditions.
The wellness community thinks of the biometrics screening process as a necessary check-up for employees. But, the results may extend beyond the physical benefits. Many will take an improved attitude or feeling of well-being from a positive screening.
Why take a Biometrics Screening?
A biometrics screening establishes a health baseline that can be used to evaluate the risk for a variety of health issues, many of which can be prevented through early detection and lifestyle changes. This can help prevent them from developing into something more serious.
Employers are now beginning to see the benefits of biometrics screening, especially for industries that are more labor-intensive, like construction or mining. After all, there are plenty of chronic conditions that can lead to something serious over time, or can even cause workplace accidents or injuries.
Moreover, employers can save a lot of money on future health costs by recognizing health conditions early on. This is because being able to monitor an existing condition can prevent or delay it from becoming more severe. However, there are some insurance companies that have biometric screening as one of their requirements for a health insurance policy.
Furthermore, biometric screening is mostly voluntary, even though some employers offer cash bonuses or other incentives to encourage employees to participate.
What is Measured in a Biometrics Screening?
During a biometrics screening, your vital statistics are measured, and blood work is usually part of the screening, too. Some screenings may also involve a complete blood count (CBC).
However, biometrics here means the same thing as the biometrics requirement for an H4 visa. Which is an individual’s unique characteristics that can be used for identification. Here are some of the things measured in a biometrics screening process:
- height, weight, and vital statistics (Waist, hips measurement)
- body mass index (BMI), an estimate of your body fat based on your height to weight ratio
- blood pressure and pulse measurement
- fasting blood glucose levels
- blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides
Furthermore, depending on the specific program, your aerobic fitness levels may also be measured. It may even include your tobacco or cigarette use, as well as your exercise habits.
What to Expect from a Biometrics Screening?
A biometric screening usually only takes 15 to 20 minutes. If it is your first time getting one done, you have nothing to worry about.
Aside from getting your biometrics values such as your vital statistics, the screening will also involve a blood draw either via fingerstick or a venipuncture. This will be done by a trained professional if you’re getting an on-site test, or by yourself, if you’re doing an at-home self-collection.
Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully to get the most accurate results. During the procedure you can expect the following:
- A healthcare professional will measure your height and ask you to step on a scale.
- Next, a tape measure will be used to measure your waist circumference and possibly your hip circumference.
- Then, they’ll put a blood pressure cuff around your arm to get a blood pressure reading.
- They may draw your blood from a finger prick or a needle in your vein (venipuncture).
- Lastly, you may be asked to fill out a short questionnaire, which asks about your medical history or any health issues you may be concerned about.
However, biometrics screening doesn’t involve diagnosis. It only indicates possible risk factors. Moreover, they will only get your relevant information for the screening. All information, medical or otherwise, is protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) laws, meaning that it will never be released to anyone without the approval or personal consent of the individual getting screened. So feel free to be completely honest. Even your employer won’t be able to find out about your results or other information about your screening unless you consent to it.
Where’s the Screening Done?
Where your screening will be done depends on your company. Many employers will hire a specialized company to do the screening on-site or at a screening facility. The employees won’t have to go anywhere else, which is convenient for everyone involved.
In some cases, your employer may provide you with a kit to do a screening at home. Or they may have your primary care doctor conduct the screening.
How to Prepare for a Biometrics Screening
The procedure for biometrics screening typically goes very smoothly. Your employer or the company doing the biometrics screening should tell you everything you need to know or prepare for in advance.
In general, you may need to do the following before a biometrics screening:
- Fasting: It is a requirement to fast for 9 to 12 hours. Don’t drink anything except water, black coffee, or tea before the screening.
- Hydration: Being well-hydrated can make it easier to find a vein if your blood needs to be drawn via venipuncture.
- Dress comfortably: Wear a top or shirt that allows you to easily roll up your sleeve for blood pressure measurement or a blood draw.
- Medications: If you’re taking any medications, you don’t have to stop using them. Just continue taking them as usual.
- Exercise: Don’t exercise for at least 12 hours before your biometric screening.
If you currently have a medical condition that does not allow you to fast for at least 9 to 12 hours, it’s advised to follow your health care provider’s instructions.
How Long Does it Take to Get the Results from Biometrics Screening?
The answer to this question will depend on the tests done on you. Some or all of the biometrics screening results will be available to you within a few minutes.
For instance, vital statistics and other measurements can be available to you right after the procedure. But for more complex tests like blood work, however, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to get the results.
If your blood sample is sent to a laboratory, blood results may take a week or longer. The results will be sent to you by mail or electronically, depending on what you request. You can request the results either via your email or by snail mail. It may also be given straight to your company.
In conclusion, biometrics screening is a medical procedure that many companies are now requiring their employees to undergo. These screening programs are usually voluntary. To increase participation, some employers offer incentives, such as lower out-of-pocket health insurance costs or a cash bonus.
Moreover, it’s a quick and painless test that can lead to many benefits for both the company and the employee. Besides, it can help maintain and monitor the overall health of a workforce, ensuring the company is operating in tip-top shape.
Furthermore, research has found that biometrics health screenings can reduce a company’s spending on health plans by recognizing certain factors that put employees at risk for certain medical conditions. These screenings give employers the vital information they need to efficiently move in the best direction of their in-house health and wellness initiatives.