Akili Interactive’s game EndeavorRx is the first game approved by the FDA to be prescribed as medicine for children with ADHD in the US.
After years of testing and collecting evidence for the efficacy of EndeavorRx on symptoms of ADHD, this game is finally approved by the FDA to prescribe to children with ADHD. A large randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, controlled trial among 348 children with ADHD showed beneficial effects for approximately one-third of the children in the EndeavorRx group compared to the control group. These improvements in ADHD symptoms following one month of treatment with EndeavorRx were maintained for up to a month. T he most common side effects were frustration and headache. The FDA approved EndeavorRx as a tool that can be used as an addition to standard ADHD treatment, such as clinician-directed therapy, medication, and/or educational programs.
What does this mean for other games developed to improve emotional and mental health and change behavior? In the GEMH lab we are committed to designing and testing games that can help young people to improve their well-being and mental health. At this moment however, our evidence-based games are not implemented widely because we do not have the financial support and service organisation to back us up. Crucially, to help youth at moments when they need it most, we need our games to be publicly available. FDA approval for EndeavorRx is a first step in creating a support base for games as treatment for emotional and mental health and behavior change, hopefully leading to increased support for the implementation of our GEMH lab games.
GEMH lab's Hanneke Scholten talked about the FDA approval of EndeavorRx and what that means for the future of applied games in the Dutch radio show "De Coen en Sander Show".