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We all knew this day would come eventually, video games can now be used to treat medical conditions. The FDA announced on June 15th that they have approved the video game EndeavorRX, created by Akili Interactive, as an alternative treatment for kids with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It is officially the first FDA legalized prescription video game approved in the United States.
EndeavorRX is an animated obstacle and target collecting game where you suit up and explore different worlds. Kids can use rewards they receive from completing missions to get costumes in the store. The game is attended to be played by kids ages 8-12 who have been diagnosed with ADHD by their doctor. However, this game is to be used in addition to other doctor recommended ADHD treatments. This game is compatible with iPhones and iPads.
How The Game Came To Be Approved
As with any form of medicine, the video game had to go through several studies to test its effectiveness. Over the course of seven years, Akili Interactive conducted several studies and tested 600+ children. These studies showed that ⅓ of kids who played the game for 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week for four weeks:
“No longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention.”
However, there were some noted side effects of playing EndeavorRX including headaches, aggression, frustration, dizziness, and emotional reactions.
Is There A Future For Prescription Video Games?
Absolutely! There has been an increase in digital therapies in recent years, and this number will only continue to grow. The FDA doesn’t take approval lightly, and any possible prescription video games must go through the necessary studies and trials just like medicine trials.
Unfortunately, like medicine, there are some observable side effects. Prescription video games aren’t going to be perfect and could lead to physical effects (headaches, dizziness) and video game addiction. However, any parent who is hoping to treat their child’s medical condition and has already tried everything will likely attempt to use unorthodox treatments such as this.
If you would like to be on the waitlist for EndeavorRX, click here. Keep in mind you will need a prescription from your child’s doctor to obtain the game as a form of treatment.