Education Blog

First FDA-Approved Video Game Treating ADHD

September 21, 2021

Akili Interactive collaborated with us in this story. It can be difficult to raise an ADHD child. It can be difficult to diagnose ADHD. The eight-out of ten available pharmaceuticals usually work well for these children. This is a good result, but there are still many ADHD children who need more effective treatment. There is still time to improve symptoms for those who respond well to medication.

The first FDA-approved digital treatment named EndeavorRx is based on a videogame. It is useful for children who are not able to respond to existing medication or those who have but want better results.

Kids navigate the course using an iOS device. They collect targets and avoid obstacles. It looks very simple to the untrained eye.

There’s more to EndeavorRx than meets the eye. It was designed by medical and gaming professionals. They wanted to entertain, but also to add a valuable component to ADHD therapeutic programs. The treatment has shown children aged 8-12 with ADHD improvement in function of attention .

Effects On Children

Let’s take a look at the results. ADHD children’s objective attention shown improvement in a controlled, randomized clinical trial through EndeavorRx. After one month, up to a third had a “clinically significant change” in ADHD symptoms. This number rose to 45% after the second month. EndervorRx was also indicated by 48% of parents as having improved their child’s ADHD-related daily impairments and 56% as helping with their attention. After four weeks, both ADHD medication-using parents and their children reported statistically significant improvement in ADHD impairments.

This is how it works. The game uses a combination sensory stimuli and motor challenges to stimulate areas of the brain that are important for attention function. ADHD children must be able to concentrate and manage multiple tasks, while filtering out distractions. These skills are not something they naturally have but can be improved upon.

EndeavorRx can prove difficult for children, especially when they are learning to play. It’s designed to encourage kids through offering reward mechanisms along with adapting to their specific needs.

Videogame Adaptability For ADHD Children

Every child has ADHD. The game adapts to each patient’s needs, both in real-time and during treatments. Patients can give feedback and data to modify game over time.

Akili already has a number of updates. These include characters that are more cheerful and humorous, which is why they appeal to children aged 8-12. New mechanics have been added to the game that add complexity. It also give kids options when they are in a tough spot. New short- and long term goals provide inspiration for strategic use and encourage exploration. The game environment was also open to children, allowing them to choose how they want to progress and how they approach challenges in gameplay.

All of this adds up into a game that is both fun and effective in treating ADHD symptoms. has more information.


The EndeavorRx app, a digital treatment that improves attention function in children aged 8-12 with ADHD (primarily inattentive/combined-type) is available. EndeavorRx users may not experience typical symptoms such as hyperactivity or primarily inattentiveness. EndeavorRx is not a replacement for ADHD medication. It should be part of a therapeutic program. EndeavorRx’s clinical trials revealed that frustration was the most common side effect in children. The game can be very challenging. It was not associated with any serious adverse reactions.

Akili, EndeavorRx and the logos for each are trademarks/registered trademarks of Akili Interactive Labs, Inc.