Blog:  In the News

Video Game Aims to Be “Electronic Medicine” for ADHD

In the News blog post by Geri Coleman Tucker
Nov 18, 2014

Close-up of two children lying on the floor using video controllers

What if a video game could help with ADHD symptoms like impulsivity and trouble with executive functioning skills like organization?

Akili Interactive Labs is working on a game they hope could do just that. The video game is called Project EVO. It is an example of what Akili calls “electronic medicine.”

A prescription video game, you ask? Maybe.

That’s what Akili co-founder Eric Elenko recently told The Verge. But don’t expect to see Evo on the shelf of your favorite toy store. Akili has set its sights on the health-care arena. Akili hopes one day EVO will get the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval as a medical device.

Doctors could then prescribe EVO for people who need help with executive functioning skills. That includes trouble with planning and prioritizing tasks, controlling impulses and organization.

Currently, EVO is part of more than a dozen clinical trials. Some of those trials involve children with ADHD. Other trials are studying whether EVO can help people with Alzheimer’s and autism spectrum disorder. Akili is also working with big drug company Shire Pharmaceuticals to study the effect of Evo on ADHD in children.

Researchers say video games can have benefits for kids with learning and attention issues. However, you may want to be cautious about claims that these games can help your child. To get informed, learn more about how to select video games and apps.

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About the Blogger

Portrait of Geri Tucker

Geri Coleman Tucker is a freelance writer and editor and a former deputy managing editor for USA Today.

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