The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA has recently approved a video game as a prescription for kids who have ADHD. This is welcome news for video game enthusiasts all over the world and nothing short of a historic milestone. It means that the scientific community is finally realising the health benefits of video games. Gamers can show this to their parents, who believe that video games are no good and have only adverse effects.
EndeavorRX by Akili Interactive will go down in history as the first game that can be sold as a prescription. FDA has now given authorisation to doctors to prescribe EndeavorRX to kids aged from 8 to 12 years who suffer from ADHD. This landmark decision comes after 7 years of clinical trials in which more than 600 children took part. One study concluded that one out of three kids “no longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention” after playing EndeavorRX for 25 minutes a day five days a week, for a whole month.
EndeavorRx is built on the Akili Selective Stimulus Management engine (SSMETM) core technology. This is a proprietary technology for the targeted activation of specific neural systems in the brain to treat conditions with associated cognitive dysfunction. It is more of treatment rather than a video game. SSME presents specific sensory stimuli and simultaneous motor challenges designed to target and activate the neural systems. These systems play a vital role in attention function while using adaptive techniques to personalise the treatment for each patient. This enables regular monitoring of patient progress completing the treatment sessions, and continuously challenges each patient to an optimised level. All this works as positive reinforcement and encourages patients to improve their performance.
Akili wanted to make this an effective medicine while also being fun and engaging. That is why EndeavorRx is delivered through an action video game experience. EndeavorRX will now pave the way for other video games as a treatment for mental disorders in the future.