“Don’t forget to play your video games before you do your homework!”

Yup… much to the chagrin of mothers everywhere, after school time is about to get awesome for those with ADHD. That’s because there’s now an FDA-approved “medicinal video game” on the market.

Alright… perhaps we may be focusing on the wrong thing here. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a serious condition, and this new video game is a serious treatment.

It comes at a good time, too. ADHD cases have risen in the past 20 years – in fact, 10% of children are diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their development. Traditional medications have been effective in some cases, but many are still looking for drug-free alternatives to helping children cope.

So, how do you play?!

Image source: Akili Interactive

 

First off, the game is called EndeavorRX, and it was created by Boston-based Akili Interactive.

The game itself is similar to popular video games, but is carefully designed to increase attention and focus. Most of the gameplay involves flying aircraft and completing simple tasks… something children will find fun, engaging and stimulating. Full details aren’t out yet, but we expect to learn more as the game becomes available to the public.

According to Akili Interactive, “EndeavorRx is different from other action video games that a child might play. The treatment programmed into the game was scientifically designed to challenge a child’s brain during treatment, requiring the child’s attention and focus on multiple tasks at the same time.”

The concept behind EndeavorRx has been in development for over 7 years, involving 600 children across 5 studies. The FDA approved it last month, meaning it will soon be widely available. (Note: at the moment, it looks like there’s a waitlist.)

A breakthrough in drug-free ADHD treatment

Although the device is still new, it opens up an exciting pathway for parents to seek treatment for children with ADHD.

“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,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Our understanding of this condition is still developing, but the initial results of this alternative treatment look promising. And who knows? We may discover a whole new world of applications for video games – or new avenues to approach conditions like ADHD. This is just the beginning! (Sorry, mom…)

Interested in joining the waitlist? Learn more here.

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