Akili unveils new gameplay features for its video game treatment for children with ADHD

The enhancements were based on the latest trends in video game development and informed by user insights collected across multiple forums.

Akili EndeavorRx New Gameplay Features

Akili Interactive, maker of the first and only prescription video game treatment, introduced new gaming features and functionalities to its EndeavorRx treatment following its FDA clearance in June 2020. The new gameplay features are part of Akili’s commitment to continuous product iterations to create enjoyable, entertaining patient experiences and are being released as Akili begins its go-to market approach to bring EndeavorRx to families and healthcare professionals at scale.

Leveraging insights from caregivers and patients, Akili game designers and engineers have created additional gameplay experiences that offer exciting new quests and increased optionality, including new personalized universes and character choices to enhance engagement in the prescription digital therapeutic. Enabled by the adaptive ability of digital therapeutics and the dynamic nature of video games, these enhancements evolve the gameplay experience for patients while preserving the regulated core technology of the product.

Why does it matter?

Because EndeavorRx is uniquely delivered through a video game, a number of gameplay components can be enhanced to drive user engagement and motivation. Akili leveraged its expertise in two disparate industries — medicine and gaming — to identify opportunities to enhance the EndeavorRx gameplay experience without changing Akili’s patented Selective Stimulus Management Engine (SSME) core technology designed to improve attention function. The enhancements were based on the latest trends in video game development and informed by user insights collected across multiple forums, including playtesting, workshops, in-depth interviews with patients and caregivers, surveys, gameplay data and longitudinal research.

New features were added to EndeavorRx, with a primary focus on gameplay progress, increased choice and personalization. The enhancements provide patients with more strategic challenges and add complexity to both short-term and long-term goals to drive motivation. Patients now have more choices during gameplay, including selecting and unlocking new creatures and costumes, completing new quests, and building their own universes, which provide increased optionality and foster longer-term engagement and interest.

On the record

“Rapid product iteration is critical to creating amazing experiences for patients and delivering on the full promise of digital therapeutics,” said Carl Gottlieb, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Akili Interactive. “Since obtaining FDA clearance, we’ve been listening and learning, and are taking a dynamic patient-responsive approach to create an amazing experience — from the product to the delivery process. Because EndeavorRx is uniquely delivered through a video game, we have nearly endless opportunities to enhance the product and evolve it based on user feedback and gaming trends to drive enjoyment and engagement.”

The context

EndeavorRx treatment was granted FDA clearance based on data from five clinical studies in more than 600 children diagnosed with ADHD, including a prospective, randomized, controlled study (STARS) published in The Lancet Digital Health journal, which showed EndeavorRx improved objective measures of attention in children with ADHD. In March 2021, data published in Nature Digital Medicine from a multi-site open-label study (STARS Adjunct) evaluating the impact of EndeavorRx on symptoms and functional impairments in children with ADHD demonstrated statistically significant improvement in all predetermined endpoints of the study, which included parent and clinician ratings of children’s ADHD symptoms and related impairments in daily life.

EndeavorRx is indicated to improve attention function as measured by computer-based testing in children ages 8-12 years old with primarily inattentive or combined-type ADHD, who have a demonstrated attention issue.