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H-SCAN Physical Age Test

The H-SCAN was the original test that looked beyond chronological age – and instead measured human functional and biological age based on criteria such as lung capacity & hearing. The H-SCAN is discontinued, but you can purchase it’s successor, the AgeMeter. 

Functions that contribute to 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.

The H-SCAN Biomarkers

Auditory Reaction Time

How quickly can one respond to an auditory stimulus

Highest Audible Pitch
What is the highest tone one can hear
Vibrotactile Sensitivity
How well can your skin sense vibrations
Visual Reaction Time
How quickly can one react to a visual stimulus
Muscle Movement Time
What is the speed and accuracy one can control their muscles
Lung Capacity
Measuring forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume
Decision Reaction Time
How quickly can one process a decision
Decision Movement Time
How quickly can one physically act on their decision
Taking a look at short-term memory
Visual Accommodation
How are one’s eyes holding up to age

Media Coverage

  • August, 2002, various CBS Affiliates: 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.

  • August, 2002, various Fox Affiliates: (Click to See Atlanta 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.
  • 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.])”
  • 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.

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.

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.

Talk with an anti-aging expert.

Learn about how you can start measuring functional age for yourself or patients

(702) 576-1717

7582 Las Vegas Blvd, #219, Las Vegas, NV 89123

“A device that can accurately and quickly estimate biological age is badly needed in the field and would be a huge benefit to consumers interest in changing their life’s trajectory.”

Dr. David Sinclair

Harvard University

The AgeMeter is Here!

Learn about the successor to the H-SCAN