Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs is teaming up with Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA), a not-for-profit subsidiary of Autism Speaks, to conduct an efficacy study of its iOS game Project: EVO with children that have high-functioning autism and ADHD.
DELSIA is funding the trial that will look to measure "cognitive and symptom improvement over one month of device play." Recruitment will begin toward the end of the year.
"Our products combine the high engagement and high-resolution data of the tech industry with the strong scientific underpinning of the medical industry," Akili COO Eddie Martucci said in a statement. "We are excited to advance our products further into the clinic and into the market."
The Project: EVO app, which is still not available to download from iTunes, is designed to assess and treat cognitive issues. In the game, a user navigates an alien down a course by tilting a smartphone or tablet back and forth. While doing so, users are prompted to respond to targets by tapping the screen. The applications tracks user's movements every 30 milliseconds and can therefore monitor his or her behavior, as well as quickly adapt to the player.
This is not the first time Akili is testing Project: EVO. In January 2014, they partnered with Pfizer to try to detect indications of Alzheimer's in healthy individuals. A year before, pharmaceutical company Shire invested in Akili and worked closely with the company to launch their first clinical study of the game.