FDA approves video game for treating ADHD in kids

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has for the first time approved a video game for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children

BOSTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has for the first time approved a video game for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

The FDA said Monday the game built by Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs can improve attention function.

The game, called EndeavorRx, requires a prescription and is designed for children ages 8 to 12 with certain symptoms of ADHD.

It’s the first time the FDA has cleared a digital therapy for improving ADHD symptoms, and the first time the agency has ever authorized marketing of a game-based therapy for any condition.

The FDA says it looked at data from multiple studies in more than 600 children. A video of the game shows a character traveling a racecourse-like path in a hover board. Sensory and motor tasks are designed to help the player improve cognitive functioning.

“We’re proud to make history today with FDA’s decision,” Akili CEO Eddie Martucci said in a statement. “We’re using technology to help treat a condition in an entirely new way as we directly target neurological function through medicine that feels like entertainment.”