FDA approves first “drug prescription” video game for children with ADHD

Akili Interactive’s Endeavor RX (formerly known as Project EVO) could go down in history: it is the first video game to be legally sold in the United States and prescribed as a drug,media The Verge reported. It was a landmark decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which authorized doctors to prescribe the iPhone and iPad game drug for children ages 8 to 12 for ADHD, after seven years of clinical trials that studied more than 600 children to see if a game really works.

According to the company, the answer is yes: one-third of the children who received the treatment “no longer have measurable attention deficits on at least one measure of objective attention” after playing the game of avoiding obstacles and collecting targets, playing 25 minutes a day, five days a week, for four weeks.

“After one month of treatment with EndeavorRx, the improvement in ADHD disorder remained for a month,” the company said. “The most common side effects are frustration and headache — it seems mild compared to traditional drugs, as you would expect from so-called virtual medicine. They concluded that the results “are not sufficient to indicate that AKL-T01 should be an alternative to ADHD established and recommended treatments”.

A representative for Akali told The Verge that the company’s next step is to actually launch endeavorRX games. Although it did technically open enrollment to a limited number of families in April. If people are interested, they can join the waiting list on the company’s website.