Just last week the U.S. Food and Drug administration authorized marketing for the first “prescription-only game-based device” -- in other words, the United States’ first prescription video game.
The game, EndeavorRx, is developed by Akili Interactive and is designed to help children with ADHD who have demonstrated attention issues. Intended for use as part of a treatment program in conjunction with therapy, medication, and educational programs, the game represents the first game-based digital therapeutic granted marketing authorization by the FDA for any type of condition.
While occupational therapists, doctors, and researchers have long used video games as therapeutic aids (like virtual reality applications designed to minimize the stress of inoculations) and tools in their treatment warchest (like consumer platforms used as a supplement to physical therapy), this important milestone marks a “level up” moment for the intersection of video games and medicine. With this first hurdle cleared by Akili Interactive, more prescription-only game-based devices are sure to follow in EndeavorRx's wake, with their own with privacy, compliance, and development challenges in tow.