are usually frowned upon by parents but a game called EndeavorRx made by Akili Interactive Labs can now be officially prescribed by doctors as a medicine to help kids suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (
). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing doctors to recommend kids between 8 and 12 years of age to play the game on their iPhone or iPad to improve attention. Interestingly,
calls it a prescription-only game. The game may be available in the form a separate device as well but it can also be downloaded in parent’s phone or tablet.
“The EndeavorRx device offers a non-drug option for improving symptoms associated with ADHD in children and is an important example of the growing field of digital therapy and digital therapeutics. The FDA is committed to providing regulatory pathways that enable patients timely access to safe and effective innovative digital therapeutics,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in a press statement.
is built on the Akili Selective Stimulus Management engine (SSME) core technology. This is developed as a proprietary technology designed for the targeted activation of specific neural systems in the brain to treat diseases with associated cognitive dysfunction.
“SSME presents specific sensory stimuli and simultaneous motor challenges designed to target and activate the neural systems that play a key role in attention function while using adaptive algorithms to personalize the treatment experience for each individual patient,” explained the developers in a statement.
FDA states that ADHD is a common disorder that begins in childhood, affecting around 4 million children ages 6-11. “Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and very high levels of activity,” it added. The benefit of the game are claimed to be improvements in attention function, as measured by the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), academic performance measures, and other assessment tools.
During the approval process, the FDA is said to have reviewed data from multiple studies in more than 600 children. While there were no serious adverse events reported. The most common adverse events observed with EndeavorRx are: frustration, headache, dizziness, emotional reaction, and aggression.