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What Is a Biometric Screening?

By Sabah Karimi ; Updated July 27, 2017

A biometric screening is a short health examination that determines the risk level of a person for certain diseases and medical conditions. Many employers and universities encourage staff or students to complete this type of health screening so they can start thinking about their health and pursue treatment if needed.


A biometric screening is a general health check that can identify any significant cardiovascular or nervous system problems. This health check provides several biometric measures including: cholesterol levels for full lipid panel and glucose; blood pressure; blood glucose levels and also includes a measurement of height, weight and body mass index (BMI). Results are typically available within a few days after the screening, and are kept confidential.


The biometric screening can be one of several components of a complete health and wellness check. Most doctors and clinics perform a biometric screening as part of a wellness program that includes the completion of a health risk assessment (HRA) questionnaire, and a consultation. Results of the biometric screening can help to identify various diseases or health problems, and allow the patient to work with their physician to lower their health risks for certain conditions.


The typical biometric screening test can take up to 15 minutes, and is performed at a physician's clinic, or on site at an employment facility or college campus. It can consist of all or some of the following screening tests: carotid artery ultrasound screening; blood pressure check; blood draw; diabetes screening; and cholesterol screening.


The blood pressure screening is completed with a standard blood pressure check. The blood test is conducted by drawing a vial of blood; patients are required to fast for a short period of time before having blood drawn. The diabetes screening is performed by measuring glucose levels in the blood from the blood test.The cholesterol screening is performed with a "finger-stick" test that measures full lipid and glucose levels. The carotid artery ultrasound test determines the risk factor of having a stroke. This test measures how much plaque has accumulated in the arteries.


Biometric screenings allow the patient to learn about her current health status, and determine her risk for common diseases including diabetes, heart disease, asthma and other medical conditions. The physician or nurse conducting the tests can review the results of the screening with patients and follow up to do further tests, or recommend a treatment plan or wellness program based on immediate needs.

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