Centers for Age Control

Age Test

H-SCAN 7 minute Video Demonstration


Was Sold Worldwide to Doctors and Others.

Now Discontinued.

We Have Begun Developing Similar New Product.

Click here to request more information.

March 20, 2006, By Arlene Weintraub: Our intrepid reporter takes the test of time. It doesn’t matter how you feel – the H-SCAN will tell you how old you really are.

June, 2004, Biomarkers of aging cites the study for which the H-SCAN was developed: “The optimal goal would be to obtain a panel of functional biomarkers of aging … At least one such attempt to do this has already been reported (55 [Hochschild R. Can an index of aging be constructed for evaluating treatments to retard aging rates? A 2,462 person study. J Gerontol Biol Sci. 1990;45:B187-B214.])”

 August, 2002, various Fox Affiliates: (Click to See Atlanta Affiliate VideoA test called the H-SCAN can measure internal or biological age, based on several criteria. Lung capacity, vision and hearing, reaction time and memory are all tell tale signs of age. Doctors say the test, which takes about an hour, is as reliable as a lie detector.

cbslogoAugust, 2002, various CBS Affiliates: (Click to See San Diego Affiliate Video) A test called the H-SCAN can measure internal or biological age, based on several criteria. Lung capacity, vision and hearing, reaction time and memory are all tell tale signs of age. Doctors say the test, which takes about an hour, is as reliable as a lie detector.

Functions that contribute to the quality of life

Quality of life depends on the ability to function. Beginning at about age 35, declines occur in functions that are essential for the activities of daily living. The H-SCAN measures 12 of the most important of these, including memory, reactions, hearing, vision, agility, decision speed, movement speed, tactile sense, and lung function.

By measuring such biomarkers of aging and comparing scores to norms by age and sex, the H-SCAN determines a person’s functional age for the 12 age tests, as opposed to his or her chronological age. In 1959, Hollingsworth, studying survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, introduced the use of biomarkers to measure human aging. Today, the H-SCAN is the most widely used instrument for this purpose.

Functional declines proceed at different rates in different individuals. Genetic factors play a role, but so does environment, diet, and life style, providing evidence that intervention in the aging process is possible. Originally developed as a research tool to test interventions in aging, the H-SCAN now finds application in clinical practices with a focus on aging.

Automatic test administration

The H-SCAN real age tests are designed to be self-administering . meaning that no clinic staff is needled to run the real age tests. The instrument hardware is connected to a computer, and easy-to-follow instructions for doing the real age tests appear on the screen (participants need no familiarity with computers). Error-checking features incorporated in the program monitor every move and provide guidance to assure that each procedure is correctly performed.

In general, clinic staff is needed only to bring the participant to the instrument, enter a few items of information, and collect the automatic printouts at the end. Besides saving staff costs, the object has been to achieve greater reproducibility of data through uniformity of procedures and instructions.

Movie-clip software

 Our instructor, Lisa, provides verbal instructions, that many real age test participants find easier to follow. Lisa explains what each of the 12 age tests is about and, with the help of an on-screen assistant, demonstrates exactly how to perform each age test. Any of the movie clips can be repeated as desired by the participant at the press of an “INSTANT REPLAY” button on the central module. Testing time is about 45 to 50 minutes for the 12 age tests.

H-SCAN testing is fun
What do participants have to say about the HSCAN? Young and old report that they enjoyed the experience – that the testing session is stimulating and fun.
1.   Auditory reaction time
2.   Highest audible pitch
3.   Vibrotactile sensitivity
4.   Visual reaction time
5.   Muscle movement time
6.   Lung: forced vital capacity
7.   Lung: forced expiratory volume, 1 sec
8.   Decision reaction time
9.   Decision movement time
10. Memory
11. Alternate button tapping
12. Visual accommodation
(need for reading glasses)
How the H-SCAN biomarkers were chosen and validated

The primary consideration for selecting the 12 biomarkers of aging in the H-SCAN, out of the many tested by labs around the world, was that their decline most directly impacts the quality of life.

Unlike blood and other biochemical tests, no explanation is needed to recognize that memory, lung function, reaction time, hearing, vision, muscle movement, and so on, are involved in virtually all mental or physical activities all day long, and that the ability to function effectively in these respects is synonymous with successful living and aging.

The H-SCAN age tests were the subject of the largest published study of biomarkers of aging to date. The subject population was comprised of 2,462 employees of 17 U.S. life insurance companies. In order to avoid an interest-in-health bias, as is typical of volunteers, all participants were non-volunteers. The study was designed to:

(1) test the validity of the 12 H-SCAN biomarkers of aging;

(2) provided norms and statistical measures for each of the age tests;

(3) determine separately by sex how 17 dietary, life style, environmental, and genetic factors, (including smoking, exercise, and red meat consumption) relate to the rate of biological aging. For a copy of this 28 page report (Journal of Gerontology [Biological Science] 45(6):B187-214; 1990) click this link.

H-SCAN hardware

The electronic circuits that run all of the age tests are conveniently housed in a sleek central module connecting to or containing the various transducers used in testing – headphones, vibrometer, viewer with computer controlled lenses, flow sensor for spirometry, push buttons, and LEDs.

Central module with circuits, LEDs and push buttons


The H-SCAN test of visual accommodation using viewer with computer driven lens system


Vibrometer for
tactile sensitivity test

Disposable flow sensor for
spirometry tests

Headphones for test of highest audible
pitch and audio reaction time

H-SCANtouch H-SCANlung H-SCANhearing


Computer keyboard and mouse are not used except by staff to enter participant name, sex, birth date, and height at the start of testing and, optionally, to change test and printout configurations.

An important feature of the H-SCAN is simplicity of operation, the result of years of development and field experience. Setting up the equipment is similarly simple and fast.

H-SCANtestreportAt the end of testing, the H-SCAN automatically prints two pages of results. The H-SCAN AGE TEST REPORT gives scores and percentiles based on a 2,462-person norm group. The bar graph of percentiles provides a quick overview of strengths and weaknesses. Functional age is shown in the box below the bar graph.

H-SCANlungreportThe H-SCAN Spirometry Report provides a full spirometric evaluation, including volume-time and flow-volume curves for three efforts and a data table including predicted and percent of predicted values.

Applications of the H-SCAN in clinical practice

TAILORING: The 12-function assessment provided by the H-SCAN helps health professionals to tailor therapeutic approaches to the individual.

MONITORING: Repeating the age tests over months or years allows monitoring of changes in individual functions and functional age.

MOTIVATING: Learning one. s functional age is a great stimulus to action, no matter what the result. Participants are more apt to stay with a therapy program and put forth the effort required when their goal is to shoot for retest.

What you need to supply:  

When you order an H-SCAN, you get the complete system, hardware and software, ready to operate, except for the following items that you have to supply:

(1) Computer, running Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, CD-drive, available USB or serial port, and, for the movie-clip software only, speakers with volume control. Hard drive space required (under a single drive letter) is: 40 MB for written version, 1.2 GB for movie-clip version.

(2) Video monitor, 15″ or, preferably, 17″, with .28 or smaller dot pitch, capable of 800x600x256 color graphics at 72 Hz or more, non-interlaced.

(3) Ink-jet printer with two separate ink cartridges (black and color).

(4) Table and chair in a quiet, distraction-free environment.

H-SCAN 820 System, with Version 4 Movie-clip software

Version 3 Written-screen software

Central Processing Unit

High-fidelity headphones with ear cups

Viewer (for visual accommodation test)

Vibrometer (for vibrotactile sensitivity test)

Box of 50 disposable spirometry flow sensors

Tubing connecting flow sensors to Central Processing Unit

Cable connecting Central Processing Unit to computer. s serial port

Wall-mount AC power adapter

Movie-clip and Written-screen software on 3 CD-ROMs

User’s Guide

Not included: Computer, monitor, and printer (for specifications on these items, see above).