“To help people perform better in life.”
According to the World Health Organization,
stress is the health epidemic of the 21st century.
Prior to Pardigm.com’s breakthrough computer-vision technology, no one had a proven and practical way to measure cortisol – the stress hormone – in real-time.
Wibe started with Pardigm.com to help his mother who suffers from chronic stress.
"How do you quantify stress?" Pardigm.com’s founder Wibe Wagemans asked this question back in 2020. His mother’s psychiatrist paused and finally replied: "We ask people how they feel."
While useful, it didn’t provide any truly objective measure. And that was needed. Stress was already considered the health epidemic of the 21st century, according to the World Health Organization. And once COVID-19 hit, people’s stress levels went through the roof. The American Psychological Association even called it “a national mental health crisis.”
Finally, Wibe asked an internist, who had the answer. He explained that cortisol, the stress hormone, is the gold standard for measuring mental and physical stress. However, there was no way to practically test cortisol levels.
You’d have to collect 24 hours of urine to establish a baseline and then send it to a lab, which would delay results by days or weeks. That process made it practically impossible for people to monitor and address their stress levels in real time.
How Do You Quantify Stress?
Wibe went to work. As a serial entrepreneur with a background in mobile and AI technology (he was the first in the world to build an AI bot and an online video game on mobile), Wibe considered how to use a smartphone’s camera sensor to quantify stress.
Nowadays, the hardware of a smartphone’s camera sensors is much closer to professional single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras and $100,000 lab scanners. People are practically walking around with high-end lab equipment in their pockets. With that in place, we needed to utilize AI algorithms to crunch the data. So Wibe and his team started testing this idea — and they soon figured out a feasible way to bring the lab to the kitchen table with a simple saliva test.
Along the way, they unearthed more research on how abnormal cortisol levels impact our health and wellness.
It turns out that elite athletes have been using labs to test their cortisol levels for decades. As the main stress hormone, cortisol is the best biomarker for measuring an athlete’s needs while training. It can warn them when they need to rest and recover. And it can let them know when they’re ready to train again.
In fact, research shows that by controlling their cortisol, athletes can significantly improve their performance, optimize their training, and avoid injuries. That’s why elite athletes, biohackers and high performers are among Pardigm.com’s first beta users.
But Now What?
Once you know your cortisol levels, you might ask yourself: Now what?
It’s a good question. We didn’t want to simply build a biotech company and leave our members to figure out the rest. While we are not a medical company, and cannot give medical advice, we want to find a way to provide guidance to our members so they feel more informed.
That’s why we started the Pardigm.com website, to share some of the top research on methods for managing high stress levels. And it’s why we offer a one-on-one Zoom consultation with an expert after you’ve established your cortisol baseline. Currently, our expert consultants are not allowed to diagnose or provide any medical recommendations, but they can help you interpret your data, whether it's cortisol, heart rate or sleep records.
And stay tuned. We’re working on new ways to help you manage your cortisol, such as steps for creating a stress-is-enhancing mindset. Cortisol is part of that equation, but it is also about connecting to the people and things you care about. We want to help you do that.