Be it in arcades or with the most modern consoles and mobile devices, there’s a good chance video games have been a part of your life. As one of our most beloved hobbies, video games are so popular because they allow us to escape our reality. But can they be more than just entertainment?

This is the question that has been driving Akili to rethink how medicine is designed, delivered and experienced. Akili Interactive is a company that focuses on the development of digital therapies, delivered not through a syringe or a pill, but through engaging video games. Their recently FDA approved product, EndeavourRx, might be a game-changer in the digital medicine market and it is set to revolutionize the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Did you know?

  • 42%

    was the increase in the prevalence of children diagnosed with ADHD between 2003 and 2011.[1]

  • 68%

    of parents saw significant change in their child’s condition within 2 months using EndeavorRx.[2]

  • 1st

    EndeavourRx is the first FDA-approved prescription treatment delivered through a video game.[3]

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and it is one of the most common childhood disorders.[1] Medication is the most common type of treatment for ADHD [5], but many parents are worried about the side effects and are looking for other alternatives. This is where EndeavourRx jumps in, as the first “non-drug” prescription therapy for ADHD delivered through a video-game to receive an FDA approval.[3] This milestone has been achieved after 5 clinical trials studying EndeavorRx, including a large pivotal study where, after 1 month of EndeavorRx treatment, one third of the patients “no longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention”.[4] 

How does EndeavourRx work? The game is built based on Akili’s Selective Stimulus Management engine (SSMETM) technology, that targets specific neural systems in the brain associated with ADHD. These systems play a key role in attentional control, including focus, interference processing and multitasking.[3] The game uses adaptive algorithms to personalize the experience for each patient, and is engineered to be increasingly difficult, challenging patients to improve their performance.

We believe digital medicine is the next frontier in healthcare. It can be the key enabler to the vision of providing personalized medicine to any patient anywhere. That’s why M Ventures, our corporate venture capital arm, decided to invest in Akili back in 2018.  The company is M Ventures’ first investment in the area of “Frontier Tech & Sustainability” pushing the boundaries of Science & Technology and its adoption between and beyond our current business sectors. 

Akili has just laid the foundation for the world of digital therapies with its ADHD product, but its ambition goes far beyond that. The company is evaluating a number of potential new digital medicines engineered to improve cognitive function across diseases and disorders and is continuously looking for the next great innovation that bridges technology and medicine in ways we can’t even imagine today.

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