Can you imagine your doctor prescribing you a video game?
It’s pretty tough to imagine unless your physician is Dr. Mario. And let’s be real: he never even completed medical school, and who knows what the hell is in those pills of his.
However, the FDA recently approved the world’s first prescription video game, called EndeavorRX. What is EndeavorRX and what does it treat? Let’s dive into a whole new age of digital medicine.
What is EndeavorRX?
The prescription video game is called EndeavorRX. It comes from Akili Interactive and previously went by the name Project EVO. It will be releasing on both the iPhone and the iPad (sorry, Android users).
What is the gameplay like? Nobody is sure just yet, but the trailer makes it look like a futuristic racer set in a world of colorful settings and characters. You fly a hovercraft through different kinds of terrain and you can take control of a wide assortment of characters. Your goal is to dodge obstacles and collect various tokens.
While gamers of all ages may be tempted to give it a try, this simplistic game was designed with gamers 8–12 years old in mind. Furthermore, it’s designed for gamers with a very specific condition.
What does EndeavorRX treat?
So, what is the world’s first prescription video game designed to treat? ADHD!
EndeavorRX has been in development and testing for a very long time. In fact, it took a whopping seven years of clinical trials before it gained FDA approval.
The result of all those trials, though, is that the FDA feels this game could make a positive impact in treating ADHD. It works by targeting certain areas of the brain experiencing “cognitive disfunction” and treating those areas.
And it’s because of this FDA approval that a doctor can actually prescribe EndeavorRX for children with ADHD.
What are the results of EndeavorRX?
If you’re skeptical, then right about now is where you want some receipts. If they really spent seven years of clinical trials testing this game out, then what were the actual results?
One of the studies found that one-third of children treated with EndeavorRX “no longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention.”
The results lasted pretty long, too. According to developer Akili Interactive, “Improvements in ADHD impairments following a month of treatment with EndeavorRx were maintained for up to a month.” It seems that regular gameplay could help extend those benefits, just as regular medication offers continuous benefits.
Side effects of EndeavorRX
So, what are the side effects of EndeavorRX? So far, it seems the only issues that children experienced were some headaches and a bit of frustration. If we’re being honest, those are pretty much the side effects of any given video game!
With that being said, EndeavorRX hasn’t been released to the public just yet. So it may be a while before we get more widespread opinions about everything from the gameplay to the game’s effectiveness.
Will EndeavorRX replace medication?
When you consider side effects as mild as frustration and headaches, you may think that this is far better than the side effects of traditional medication. And that brings up the big question: could this prescription video game replace ADHD medication altogether?
In a word, no. Even the studies that showed the best results did not conclude that this could serve as an effective replacement for someone’s traditional regimen of medication.
However, everyone with ADHD understands that there is only so much that the medication can do. If this game can supplement that medication and provide additional treatment, then this is good news for thousands of children.
Can we trust the studies on EndeavorRX?
EndeavorRX is backed up by years of clinical trials and several different studies. You may be asking how trustworthy these studies are? Well, thereby hangs a tale.
One of the most favorable studies about EndeavorRX, for instance, came from doctors who worked directly for the game developer. And while they are blunt in certain areas (for instance, that this game will never replace medication), you may still be skeptical about their conclusions.
With that being said, EndeavorRX was studied by many different doctors who were not on any company payroll. And the game managed to get FDA approval, which is a feat in and of itself. Even if you are skeptical about the one study, the overall impression of the game is that this is the real deal for those with ADHD.
Where can I sign up for EndeavorRX?
If you or someone you know is interested in the game, you don’t have to go to your doctor first. Instead, you can visit the company website and join the waitlist for the game.
Keep in mind that this groundbreaking game is building hype, so you may want to hit that waitlist sooner rather than later. Be sure to let us know what you think about EndeavorRX in the comments below!