Can video games be used as a medical treatment? Well, according to the FDA, EndeavorRx, an “immersive video game” can be used to medically treat ADHD for children aged 8-12. It can be prescribed by medical professionals, but is not used as a stand-alone solution to such mental health problems.
This video game, accessed on the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, was designed through the collaborative efforts of neuroscientists and game designers. More specifically, it integrates gameplay that targets particular areas of the brain to heighten the attention span and focus of those with ADHD. This is done through sensory stimuli and motor challenges.
The game is intended to be embedded within the patient’s schedule as prescribed. It is a challenging game – one that requires the patient to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. The patient plays as a character racing in a course where they must avoid obstacles and use problem solving skills to obtain targets. There are multiple difficulty levels which adapt in real-time to accommodate the child’s needs in order to challenge them as their focus and flexibility improves. There is also a companion app for parents to monitor their child’s progress.
EndeavorRx has shown to be extremely promising in the clinical studies the research team behind it has undertaken. Most notably, 68% of parents found significant improvements in ADHD related impairments after a few months, and 73% of children reported that it helped improve their attention. Likewise, there were no adverse effects reported as a result of this treatment. More can be read about EndeavorRx’s clinical studies on their website.
Written by Nichapatr (Petch) Lomtakul