The benefits of biometric screening

The benefits of biometric screeningIt sounds like a scary sci-fi procedure, but biometric screening is actually nothing to be afraid of. In fact, screenings can help to protect your health.

Biometric screenings (also known as health risk assessments) are health exams that assess your current overall health and that determine your risk level for developing certain diseases and medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma. Essentially, the exam serves as a warning signal, indicating when follow-up tests should be done or when a person’s lifestyle and habits need to be addressed and/or changed.

Screenings can include checks for blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol, as well as carotid artery tests to monitor for risk of stroke.

Some employers are now covering biometric screening as part of their wellness and benefits plans. And while such an offering may seem costly for the plan in the short run, in the long run it can actually help to minimize costs by catching and preventing illnesses before they happen. For example, say the screening discovers that an employee is at increased risk for developing diabetes. By this red flag being raised, the employee is able to make lifestyle changes in order to prevent diabetes from developing – and as a result, the benefits plan will be less likely to have to cover the cost of insulin prescriptions for the employee.

What’s more, biometric screening (as well as other health and wellness initiatives) can increase employee health beyond the standard tests. When employees are educated about healthy living – and their own risk factors – they may be more likely to lead healthier lifestyles. For employers, this doesn’t just mean reduced benefits costs, but also reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and an overall more positive and healthy workplace.