According to Naomi Thomas and Amy Woodyatt writing for CNN, the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has just approved the first video-game to be used as a treatment for any condition – in this case: ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Of course, because this is a complicated medical matter – this statement comes with several caveats. The article explains that this approval is specifically applied for children between the ages of 8-12 years, with certain types of ADHD and only when combined with other treatments. The director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health described it as follows:
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…Dr Jeffrey Shuren (as per CNN)
The game itself is called EndeavorRx and has been specifically designed with ADHD treatment in mind. The visuals of the game show an alien-looking creature which must be controlled around a stream-like environment, avoiding certain obstacles and steering towards rewards.
Many of us can testify to the healing qualities some games have on our own tired and anxious minds, however, having this first official treatment-focussed application is very exciting.