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Video Games as Medicine: Could Students With ADHD & Autism Have a New Solution?

Digital Therapeutic medicine 

School can be challenging for a student with ADHD / ADD, #Autism Multiple Sclerosis, anxiety, or depression. Even I suffer to manage my selective attention on a daily basis. By custom, prescription drug and cognitive therapy are the default routes in treating the aforementioned conditions. Now, struggling students have additional options in seeking treatment for the conditions placing obstacles in their educational journeys.

Digital Therapeutics (DTx), which is essentially software-powered medicine, is being used around the world to alleviate symptoms of psychological and neurobehavioral conditions. When combined with standard medicine and therapy, students can see dramatic improvements in their lives.

Video Games as Medicine?

Traditionally, video games have been assumed to cause learning disabilities. However, medical professionals are putting those theories to rest, as DTx-powered video games may help students built key skills including:

  • Working Memory
  • Executive Functioning
  • Selective Attention

Your working memory is your short-term ability to recall information, such as a to-do list. Your executive functioning is your ability to manage your emotions, attention, and planning. Selective Attention is your ability to process, filter, and respond to competing stimuli.

The Akili Interactive Selective Stimul Management Engine (SSME) may help alleviate your student’s symptoms of ADHD, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, and Major Depression by combining algorithms catering to these key skills. Here’s how it works:

  • Gameplay is specifically designed to utilize working memory, executive function, and selective attention
  • Adaptive algorithms are used to adjust to each player’s skill level
  • Sensory and motor stimuli are deployed to target, then activate, key areas of the brain and build new neurological skills through regular practice.

Still, this isn’t all. Developers such as Pear Therapeutics, Affective Engine, and Spatial Navigation are working on more DTx video games that are designed to help student patients with:

  • Lupus
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • ICU delirium
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Pain management
  • Opioid Use Disorder

Parents, educators, and students, it’s important to know you aren’t alone in your educational journey. Education is the right to everyone, and there are many resources outside of what is traditionally presented to help you and your child succeed.

The infographic below explains far more on what Digital Therapeutic medicine is, and how it can work. Remember, before engaging in any medical practices – especially new medical inventions – it’s crucial you consult your doctor.

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