12 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
THE H-SCAN BIOMARKERS
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
11. Alternate button tapping
12. Visual accommodation (need for reading glasses)