It seems that congratulations are in order for Boston-based Akili Interactive! On Monday, June 15, 2020, the company made history when their mobile-based game, EndeavorRX, became the first video game to ever be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a medical treatment.
Yes, you read that correctly – EndeavorRX is the first FDA-approved prescription video game in history.
How cool is that?!
Designed and used to treat children between the ages of 8 and 12 with attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the video game was developed with a team of neuroscientists and tech designers in order to help children improve their attention spans. This alone sounds incredible, but what may be one of the coolest aspects of the game’s design is that the incorporated algorithms can allow for real-time and between-treatment game adaptation in order to adjust the difficulty level as a means of tailoring the treatment to the child. It is a true personalized treatment that will adapt to the needs of individual patients.
If you are unfamiliar with ADHD, it is defined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as a mental health condition that is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity most commonly diagnosed in young people. If you’re curious to learn more, NAMI is an excellent place to start.
According to the game’s promotional materials, the developer recommends that children who receive a prescription for the game play it for about a half hour per day (without interruption, though occasional breaks to avoid fatigue are encouraged), five days per week, for four weeks. Further, in Akili’s promotional materials, the company states that upon prescription issue to a child with ADHD, the child should aim to complete five missions in this daily allotted amount of time. Once these five missions are completed, the game will not allow continued play until the next day.
It is also important to note that EndeavorRX is intended to be challenging. This may result in frustration at times, but it is all by-design, and it may be necessary to communicate this to children from time-to-time.
Check out the story as seen on Good Morning America here:
For more on Akili Interactive:
Sources for this article include:
- Video: EndeavorRX is first video game approved by FDA to treat ADHD
- Endeavor Enrollment
- Endeavor Instructions for Use