US's FDA approves mobile game to be marketed as ADHD treatment

EndeavorRx is the first title to be given the nod for medical use

US's FDA approves mobile game to be marketed as ADHD treatment

The United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the nod for Akili Interactive's game EndeavorRx to be marketed as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In a post on its website, the FDA said that the game was an approved treatment for paediatric patients aged between eight and 12. EndeavorRx is the first video game that has been given the thumbs up for this kind of use.

The organisation reviewed data from multiple studies of over 600 children.

Therapy with games

"The EndeavorRx device offers a non-drug option for improving symptoms associated with ADHD in children and is an important example of the growing field of digital therapy and digital therapeutics," the FDA's director for the Centre for Devices and Radiological Health Jeffrey Shuren said.

"The FDA is committed to providing regulatory pathways that enable patients timely access to safe and effective innovative digital therapeutics."

Akili CEO Eddie Martucci (pictured) added: “We’re proud to make history today with FDA's decision. 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."

Taking to Twitter, US video games trade body The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) described this as a "landmark decision." 

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.