Last year a video game called EndeavorRx
made history as the first game to gain the decidedly (and deliberately) clinical description of “an FDA-cleared medical device” and a “prescription-only digital therapeutic.”
The action-heavy game was originally developed to bolster the attention span of kids with ADHD, with the specific aim of improving their ability to focus and manage multiple tasks at once.
is jam-packed with “instructions for daily treatment” that “require your child to complete 5 to 7 game missions each day.”
This might be one of the few healthcare-related documents I’ve ever been downright fascinated by, if only because minus the medical jargon, it reads like a game manual.
Also because stopping the game is called “exiting treatment.”
Fast forward to our pre-summer post-pandemic world, and EndeavorRx is being re-evaluated as a treatment for COVID-19 “brain fog.”
“We need more interventions in general, in cognitive and mental health, that we can get out into the community.“ Neuropsychologist Faith Gunning, Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.
Speaking to The Verge
from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, Neuropsychologist Faith Gunning says Akili Interactive’s game may help "moderate to severe” COVID-19 survivors with many of the same symptoms found in children with ADHD. Namely, interruptions in normal cognitive function.
More broadly, Gunning believes that the game could alleviate attention-centric cognitive troubles experienced by pretty much anyone. As one example, her prior studies show positive changes in the brains of middle-aged and elderly people suffering from depression.
“We showed that there’s improvement in connectivity within brain networks that support attention and executive skills, and we have some preliminary data showing improvement in mood,” says Gunning.