The game has players steer through an increasingly complex course that changes based on neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is a new type of intervention that trains the brain to focus. (Psychology Today)
The founder of Akili said the game “forces patients to make rapid decisions and prioritize multiple stimuli in a challenging environment.”(The Smithsonian)
Including social workers, psychologists, and special education teachers.
A study involving 348 children between 8-12 found 5x a week for 4 weeks 30-minute session had “statistically significant improvement” with attention and impulse control. (Business Wire)
No pills, no problem
Many pediatricians are concerned about “excessive medication exposure” U.S. children are subject to. (The Smithsonian) This video game could solve this problem.
Positive side effects
Some believe video games promote the development of skills that kids with ADHD struggle with like, (1) concentration, (2) focusing on tasks for long periods of time, (3) developing strategies, (4) recognizing patterns, (5) focusing intently at the task at hand, (6) reaching goals. (Psychology Today)
Many unknowns include: (1) how long benefits will last?, (2) what is the effect on the ability to focus on different tasks (studying math vs. cleaning room)? (3) what do the parents think?
The Associate Chief of Research at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford is worried that the study is incomplete - there were no comparisons made between children playing the video game and children receiving other types of ADHD treatment. (The Smithsonian)
Neurofeedback currently costs thousands of dollars, as it requires at least 40 sessions. (Psychology Today) Still no word on who will pay for the video game. Health insurance or out of pocket?
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Many specialists recommend preplanning, metacognition, and reflection paired with playing the video game. (Additude)
Akili hopes to become the first company to have a game approved by the FDA.
Akili is also studying the impact of its video game on depression, Autism, and multiple sclerosis. (Business Insider)