Decades of research has linked exposure to childhood adversity to a range of long-term negative outcomes, including the famous large-scale ACEs study which reported in 1998 that exposure to childhood adversity dramatically increases the risk for 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in America. The effects of stress exposure can begin to accumulate in the womb, and early childhood stress in particular, can have serious long-term effects including for achievement, depression, addiction, risk-taking and suicidality.
Today, there are no accessible, cost-effective, tools available that can readily be deployed to monitor stress system development - for example in the context of home visitation or child wellness visits.
To change the trajectory of children experiencing toxic stress, we must be able to monitor the stress response system's development and identify when the system may be off track. Recalibrate Solutions is developing an assessment tool to evaluate the stress response health of all children. For such a tool to be useful, it must be:
Our assessment tool is a five-minute, disposable, saliva based, cortisol test that can be conducted using 2-3 drops of saliva. It requires minimal training and can be used with children as well as adults.
We have big plans for the future!
A number of intervention and home-visitation programs have been deployed to combat the negative effects of toxic stress in children. However, most programs lack the tools to determine if they have corrected the biology underlying these negative effects. Recalibrate Solutions’ first product, a simple, portable, rapid-test, will allow the evaluation of a program's overall impact, and its success with individual children.
The research community is working to develop new interventions that combat the negative effects of unhealthy childhood stress. Currently, researchers wait for months, or years to determine if an intervention is effective. With the Recalibrate Solutions tool, researchers can monitor intervention efficacy every week, allowing 'rapid-cycle' intervention development.
Fourteen child wellness visits are recommended during the first five years of life. At those times, development of several physical and mental systems are monitored. If a child has a dysfunctional stress response system, their long-term health outlook may include learning disorders, depression, addiction and seven of the ten leading terminal illnesses. However, child wellness visits do not include an evaluation of the stress response system. With Recalibrate Solutions' tool, monitoring the development and health of a child's stress response system will be possible during child wellness visits.
Biomedical Engineer, Startup Executive, Medical Product Development Expert, Medical Device Regulatory Expert
University of Denver Professor & Chair: Psychology, Founding Co-Director: Stress Early Experiences & Development (SEED) Research Center, Developmental Psychobiologist, Intervention Developer, Stress System Development & Early Intervention Expert
Philp H Knight Chair: Psychology, Professor: University of Oregon, Rapid-Cycle Intervention Developer, Clinical Scientist, Video-Coaching, Stress Neurobiology Expert
Pediatrician, Innovation Leader, Startup Advisor, Physician Consultant, Entrepreneur
Executive Director: Caring 4 Colorado, Former Senior Policy Director: Keystone Policy Center, Former Senior Policy Advisor: Governor Hickenlooper, Former Senior Health Advisor: Governor Ritter
Entrepreneur, Technical Generalist, Speaker, Author, Cofounder: TEDxBoulder, Startup Advisor & Mentor, Lean Startup Expert