US gives green light for the first time to doctors to prescribe a video game

Endeavor x is the first video game that can be prescribed by doctors for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Photo Credit: Akili Interactive

San Francisco – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light for the first time on Tuesday June 16 for doctors to prescribe a video game as treatment, in this case for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This is the EndeavorRx video game, produced by Akili Interactive, traditional in appearance and consisting of completing missions in different scenarios and overcoming all the obstacles that appear in the path of the protagonist.

The FDA authorization, granted after seven years of clinical trials in more than 600 boys and girls, allows the video game to be advertised as digital therapy to improve the attention span of young people between the ages of eight and twelve with ADHD.

“EndeavorRx offers a medication-free option to improve ADHD-associated symptoms in children and is an important example of the growing field of digital therapies,” said director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Jeffrey Shuren.

The video game will be available only by prescription and the production company has already opened a waiting list on its website for those who want to access the therapy to register once it is released.

It is estimated that attention deficit hyperactivity disorders currently affect four million boys and girls between the ages of six and eleven in the US, whose symptoms include difficulty maintaining concentration and controlling their behavior, as well as levels very high activity.

One of several studies that have been carried out over the past seven years and culminated in EndeavorRx’s approval as medical treatment found that a third of children exposed to this therapy (consisting of playing 25 minutes a day, five days a week for four weeks) they stopped having a significant attention deficit.

However, the study also warned of possible side effects like frustration and headaches.