Episode Summary

Can a video game help improve attention skills in kids with ADHD? According to Akili Interactive in Boston, the answer is yes. They’ve created an action game called EndeavorRx that runs on a tablet and uses adaptive AI to help improve focus, attentional control, and multitasking skills in kids aged 8 to 12. And it’s not just Akili saying that: In 2020 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agrees cleared EndeavorRx as a prescription treatment for ADHD, based on positive data from a randomized, controlled study of more than 600 children with the disorder. It was the first video game ever approved as a prescription treatment for any medical problem, and Harry's guest this week, Akili co-founder and CEO Eddie Martucci, says it opens the way for a new wave of so-called digital therapeutics. Even as Akili works to tell the world about EndeavorRx and get more doctors to prescribe the game for kids with ADHD (and more insurance companies to pay for it), it's testing whether its approach can help to treat other forms of cognitive dysfunction, including depression, the cognitive side effects of multiple sclerosis, and even Covid-19 brain fog.


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