First FDA-approved prescription video game will help treat kids with ADHD

EndeavorRx will be available for download from app stores and won't require special equipment.


The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first video game that can be prescribed as treatment in the country. It’s entitled EndeavorRx, and while it’s not exactly comparable to your favorite AAA video games, it was designed to improve the attention function of kids with ADHD. To be exact, it was developed for pediatric patients ages 8 to 12 with primarily inattentive or combined-type ADHD.

While users will be able to download it from their mobile devices’ app store — and it doesn’t need any special equipment — it’s intended for use as part of a therapeutic program, which could also include medication and other types of therapy. Eddie Martucci, the chief executive officer of EndeavorRx’s developer Akili, said in a statement:

“With EndeavorRx, 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. Families are looking for new ways to help their children with ADHD. With today’s decision by FDA, we’re excited to offer families a first-of-its-kind non-drug treatment option and take an important first step toward our goal to help all people living with cognitive issues.”

The FDA has given EndeavorRx the clearance to be marketed as a game-based therapeutic device based on data from five clinical studies in which 600 children diagnosed with ADHD had participated. In one particular study, one-third of the children “no longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention” after a month. Half of the parents also said they saw a meaningful change in their child’s day-to-day impairments.

Akili says EndeavorRx will be made available to families soon. Those who want to be notified when it becomes available can sign up for updates on the Get Endeavor website.