GE Privacy

Introduction: protecting your privacy, enhancing your online experience

When it comes to data privacy, protecting your personal information is most important. We feel it’s also important to give you, your colleagues, and your family members a voice in the development of this web site and your overall experience with it. To do this, we need to collect certain types of information to help us evaluate how the HealthAhead web site is being used, so we can continually improve your experience and the content we offer to you. By tracking overall usage patterns, providing an easy channel for your feedback, and allowing you to tell us what content is most useful to you, we can refine our offerings and provide more of the content you personally find valuable.

Overall, we are committed to giving you the option to participate – or not participate – in a manner that’s right for you. Read more for how we do this.

Information we collect and how we use it

Identifiable Information Collecting

All methods of identifying yourself to GE will be optional and opt-in, may be updated by you at any time, and will not be required for all areas of the web site.

We will not collect any identifiable user information from the areas of the HealthAhead web site which do not require SSO (Single Sign On), unique User ID (Identification), and/or Password.

There are areas of the web site that require you to identify yourself to us (authenticate). This allows you to access certain parts of the web site that may otherwise be restricted for privacy and security purposes.

There are also areas that may provide the option to create a personalized profile. The information you provide is optional and what you tell us will determine the level of personalization you will experience.

Access to identifiable information is restricted to internal, administrative personnel and solely for purposes of providing web site support, awarding prizes and other recognition, and customizing the web site content and overall functionality for the user. However, we will also allow you to change your mind and opt-out of sharing personal information with us at any time.

Non-Identifiable Information Collecting

When you visit the HealthAhead web site, we track, collect and report on certain aggregate and non- identifiable information. In other words, the information we collect does not relate to a single identifiable visitor. It tells us things such as how many users visited our web site and what pages they viewed.

This non-identifiable data will be collected and stored in a secure database in the U.S., and may be viewed by GE. We will analyze this information to refine our web site to better reflect user preferences, such as the type of content users are searching for most, and to improve the usability of the web site and the user’s web site experience. The information may also be used for purposes of promoting the web site. The data will not be used for medical analysis or other medical purposes.


Like many web sites, the HealthAhead web site uses browser cookies – bits of text placed on your computer’s hard drive when you visit. We use them to tell us things like whether you’ve visited us before, and to help us identify features in which you may have the greatest interest. We also use cookies to track country and language selection.

In the future, we may use cookies to track additional details, such as city and state.

We keep this information unless you don’t wish GE to capture this and choose to delete your cookie history. If you wish to stop accepting new browser cookies, get notification when you receive a new cookie, or disable existing cookies, the “help” portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how. Keep in mind, without browser cookies, you may not be able to take full advantage of all our web site features or have your preferences saved for future visits.

We also use Flash cookies on the web site to enhance your online experience. These are similar to browser cookies, but they store data more complex than simple text. Flash cookies, by themselves, cannot do anything to or with the data on your computer. In addition, Flash cookies cannot access or remember your email address or other personal information unless you provide the information on this web site.

Web Beacons

Certain pages on our web site contain “web beacons” (also known as Internet tags, pixel tags and clear GIFs). These web beacons obtain information such as the time the page was viewed, the type of browser used to view the page, and the information in cookies. Web beacon data does not include IP address. The web beacon data is stored at Google Analytics, a third party (see ‘Tracking and Reporting’ for more information on this technology).

Tracking and Reporting

Specifically we will track, collect and report on the following data using software from Google Analytics. For more information about Google Analytics, including information about how to opt out of these technologies, go to

Our primary metrics include: Poll response rate, repeat visits, number of times content is shared, and visits by country.

The sub-metrics include:

Most Popular Content Types, Most Popular Content Topics, User Pathing, Exit Links, Bounce Rate, Traffic by Source (region), Time on Web site, Visit Time of Day, Unique Views/Page Views, Thumps Up/Down, Most Shared Content, Number of Times Content is Rated, Most Rated Content by Type, Language Selection.

We will also be tracking how much communicators, web site leaders and other HealthAhead operations teams are leveraging the web site to support and align their business, regional and web site specific efforts. Some of these metrics may be tracked using existing support central tools.

These metrics may include:

Number of Content Submissions by Region, Number of non-corporate Driven Promotions by RCs, Number of Promotional Downloads by Region, Support Central Survey

Feedback Form

Your feedback is important to the web site’s ongoing development, so we’d love to hear your opinions and ideas. To contact us, please use this Feedback form. We will not be able to respond directly, but all feedback will be reviewed, evaluated, and factored into future content decisions. Please note: this form is monitored by IT support staff only. Please do not submit any personal or medical information. And thank you in advance!

Poll and Quiz Responses

On the web site, we will conduct polls and quizzes to better understand user activities, attitudes, interests and knowledge across multiple health topics. These polls may also help us serve you better by asking questions that relate to the usefulness of our web site. We will not capture any personally identifiable information through the collection of poll response data. As part of these polls and quizzes, we will capture responses sorted by country. In the future, we may capture responses sorted by additional anonymous demographics such as language, affiliated GE business, work web site location, gender, etc.

Sharing Content with Family and Friends

We want you to share the web site’s content with important people in your life, so most articles, videos and slideshows can be emailed. To do so, we will ask you to provide your name and the recipient’s email address. We simply use this information to send the content as you request. At this time, we do not capture or store your, or the recipient’s, email address. Please see below to learn how we track and report on email sharing activity.

Please also review GE’s Social Media Guidelines

How we protect information

GE maintains administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect against unauthorized disclosure, use, alteration or destruction of any information you provide on this web site. We use secure socket layer (SSL) technology to help keep the information you provide on this web site secure. See ‘Information We Share’ and ‘Information We Transfer’ for additional details.

Information we share

We do not sell or otherwise disclose personal information about our visitors, except as described here. We may share information provided by visitors with service providers we have retained to perform services on our behalf. These service providers are contractually restricted from using or disclosing the information, except as necessary to perform services on our behalf or comply with legal requirements. In addition, we may disclose information about you if we are required to do so by law or legal process; to law enforcement authorities or other government officials; or when we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity.

Information we transfer

We may transfer the information we collect on this web site to other countries where we do business, but only for the purposes described above. When we transfer your information to other countries, we will protect that information as described here unless otherwise required by applicable laws.

Links to other web sites

We provide links to other web sites for your convenience and information. These web sites may have their own privacy statements in place, which we recommend you review if you visit any linked web sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked web sites or any use of the web sites.

Children’s privacy

This web site is not directed to children under the age of thirteen and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of thirteen on the web site. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personal information from a visitor under the age of thirteen, we will delete the information from our records.

Some links on this web site may take web site visitors to web sites that are directed to children. These web sites have their own privacy notices that address children’s privacy. We encourage you to read these privacy notices if you visit any linked web sites directed to children.

Updates to our privacy & data policy

This Privacy & Data Policy may be updated periodically and without prior notice to you to reflect changes in our online information practices. We will post a notice on this web site to notify you of any significant changes to our Privacy & Data Policy, and indicate at the top of this policy when it was most recently updated.

How to contact us

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy & Data Policy, or if you would like us to update information we have about you or your preferences, please contact us by visiting our Feedback Form.

HealthAhead Mon, 05/04/2020 - 00:00
The Science of Sleep: Why You Need 7 - 8 Hours a Night
The Science of Sleep Why You Need 7-8 Hours A Night

People who could get by on four hours of sleep used to brag about their strength and endurance. Recent scientific studies, however, have shown us that a lack of sleep causes many significant changes in the body that can lead to obesity, disease, and even early death.

How much sleep do you need per night to stay healthy? How does insomnia put your health at risk? And if you're having trouble sleeping, how can you make your nights more restful?

Lack of Sleep Makes You Hungry

Several recent studies have shown that when you don't get enough sleep, your appetite increases, encouraging you to eat more and gain weight. Research from Uppsala University, for example, found that a single night of total sleep loss in young, normal-weight men resulted in increased levels of hunger. Using magnetic imaging (MRI) to examine the brains of 12 normal-weight males, scientists found that after a night of total sleep loss, the men showed a high level of activation in an area of the brain that controls the desire to eat.

"Bearing in mind that insufficient sleep is a growing problem in our modern society," said lead author Christian Benedict, "our results may explain why poor sleep habits can affect people's risk to gain weight in the long run." Benedict recommended that people sleep about eight hours every night to maintain a healthy body weight.

Too Little Sleep Affects Appetite Hormones

A study that recorded the sleep patterns of 9,000 people indicated that those who averaged only six hours of sleep per night were 27 percent more likely to be overweight than those who slept seven-to-nine hours. Study participants who averaged five hours of sleep per night were 73 percent more likely to be overweight.

How does a lack of sleep contribute to feelings of hunger? Scientists say that a lack of sleep leads to hormonal disturbances, causing the hormones leptin and ghrelin to get out of balance. When you are sleep deprived, your body produces too little leptin, the hormone that tells you you're full, and too much ghrelin, the hormone that tells you you're hungry. The next day, your hormones spur you to eat more and burn fewer calories. With all these hormones stacked against you, you'll likely find it extremely difficult to resist that morning donut or afternoon piece of cake.

Sleeping for Less Than Six Hours May Cause Early Death

Researchers in the United Kingdom and Italy analyzed data from 16 separate studies conducted over 25 years, covering more than 1.3 million people and more than 100,000 deaths. They found that those who generally slept for less than six hours a night were 12 percent more likely to experience a premature death than those who consistently got six to eight hours sleep.'

An earlier study showed similar results. Researchers found that people who reduced their sleep time from seven hours to five hours or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk of mortality from all causes. Even worse, the risk of death from a cardiovascular problem doubled.

Findings indicated that consistently sleeping around seven hours per night is optimal for health.

Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Other Diseases

Obesity and early mortality are just a couple of the potential problems associated with lack of sleep. A 2010 study found that those sleeping fewer than seven hours a night were at an increased risk of heart disease, with women under 60 who sleep five or fewer hours per night having twice the risk. A 2011 study found that people with type 2 diabetes who slept poorly at night had higher fasting glucose levels, insulin levels, and insulin resistance levels.

A Japanese study found that women who slept fewer than six hours a night had a 62 percent higher risk of breast cancer, while a 2011 study from Case Western University found that those who slept fewer than 6 hours a night were 47 percent more likely to have colorectal polyps, which can become cancerous.

How to Get More Sleep?

Are you among the many people getting less than seven hours of sleep per night? Try adopting some of these practices to help you sleep better and longer:

  • Schedule: Make an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week, including weekends. This will help establish your body's regular sleep-wake cycle. It may help you to adopt the habit of doing the same things each night before bed, like taking a hot bath or reading.
  • Sidestep Frustration: If you can't sleep after 15 minutes, get back up and do something that you find relaxing. Keep the lights low, read or listen to music, and only go back to bed when you're tired. Lying in bed frustrated makes it even harder to relax.
  • Say No to Stimulants: Caffeine, chocolate, and nicotine can keep you awake past your bedtime. Alcohol may make you feel sleepy initially, but will disrupt your rest later in the night. Stay away from these at least four hours before sleep.
  • Make it Comfy: Get the best mattress you can afford, and create a bedroom that invites rest. Use room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan, or other tools that will help create a restful environment. Keep computers, televisions, and pets away.
  • Exercise: Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep faster at night. Exercise also promotes deeper, more restful sleep. Just make sure you don't exercise too close to bedtime, since this can leave you too energized to sleep.
  • Relieve Stress: Stress can take a big toll on your sleep. If you find your mind running 100 miles per hour as soon as your head hits the pillow, try adopting some stress-reducing techniques. Keep a journal by your bedside to write down what’s bothering you. Start practicing yoga, learn to meditate, get regular massages, and take long walks. Once you’ve reduced your stress levels, you may find that falling asleep is as easy as closing your eyes.

Put It into Practice: Make Sleep a Priority

The science is clear: getting a good night's sleep is a key component of good health. Without sleep, our bodies become weary, face increased hunger, and crave unhealthy foods. Fortunately, prioritizing sleep is easier than you think. By following a few simple steps—like scheduling your bedtime and avoiding coffee at night—you will be well on your way to enjoying longer, more restful nights. Always remember that sleep is not a luxury—it is a health necessity.