For the first time in history, “go take your medicine” now can mean, “go play a video game”. This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted, for the first time, marketing of an iPhone and iPad game to improve attention function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRX is the result of seven years of clinical trials that studied over 600 children to figure out whether a video game could actually make a difference. The result is a treatment option that doesn’t include prescribing a traditional drug. As Akili calls it, “It’s time to play your medicine.” EndeavorRx’s clearance creates a new class of digital therapeutics. EndeavorRx is designed to directly target and activate neural systems through the presentation of sensory stimuli and motor challenges to improve cognitive functioning. That’s doctor-speak for: the game helps a brain that works in its own way function better.

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