Akili Interactive Announces Trial Results for Video Game Treatment of ADHD

Akili Interactive recently announced results of a trial on the company’s digital medicine product, AKL-T01. According to FierceBiotech, Akili plans to file AKL-T01 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clearance under the 510(k) medical device pathway as a novel treatment for children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

According to the article, unlike traditional drug treatments for ADHD, AKL-T01, also known as Project: EVO, is a video game patients play on a tablet device. AKL-T01 uses storytelling and reward

mechanisms, like those found in standard video games, and further uses adaptive algorithms to automatically adjust the level of stimulus up or down to target deficient cognitive neural systems in the brain and meet the specific needs of the patient.

The article further notes that in the randomized, controlled trial, 348 children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD were evaluated before and after four weeks of at-home treatment with either AKL-T01 or an active control. According to Akili’s press release, children and adolescents who used AKL-T01 showed a statistically significant improvement in attentional functional compared to the children in the active control group. According to Akili, a full analysis of the results is underway and will be presented in upcoming peer-reviewed publications, scientific conferences, and medical meetings.

The use of interactive software as digital treatment is a relatively new trend. The FDA recently approved what it characterized as its first-ever mobile medical application, an application developed by Pear Therapeutics to treat substance use disorders. As reported by Reuters, Akili’s plan to file for FDA approval may pave the way for what would be the first such digital prescription product to tackle ADHD. Considering that Pear Therapeutics was recently selected to participate in the FDA’s digital health software precertification pilot program, the FDA has provided an indication that the agency may be interested in the type of digital therapy treatment Akili claims to offer.