This is now an FDA-approved therapeutic. Photo courtesy of Akili

The FDA this week approved a video game as a prescribable therapeutic for kids with ADHD.

Why it matters: The move marks the first time a video game can be legally marketed as a therapy for a health condition, and it shows the gradual progress of the wider field of digital therapeutics.

What's happening: The game, called EndeavorRx and developed by Akili Interactive Labs, rewards players with stars for navigating a fantasy landscape and finishing tasks.

  • The game is meant to act as a delivery system for algorithms that can strengthen neural networks in the brain connected to ADHD, according to reporting by STAT.
  • While Akili has made the game available for the past few months for free to eligible children, the FDA's decision means that physicians can now prescribe it, and insurers may cover it.

Context: The market for digital therapeutics — which range from games like EndeavorRx to apps focusing on addiction — has been growing in recent years. The pandemic gave the industry a push, as the lockdown led the FDA to relax regulations on a range of mental health and telemedicine apps.

  • "We are seeing a 20% to 30% growth of people seeking help on anxiety and depression during the pandemic," says Adnan Asar, CEO of Lucid Lane, a digital health platform.

My thought bubble: I'm looking forward to the day when I can get Axios' health insurer to cover NBA 2K20.

Go deeper... New norm: Musicians performing on video game platforms

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 27, 2020 - Sports

The day sports stopped

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The most historic day in sports activism history began in an empty gym.

What happened: The Milwaukee Bucks chose not to take the floor for Game 5 against the Magic, which led to all three NBA games being postponed — and most of the sports world following suit.

Aug 27, 2020 - Sports

In photos: Sports grind to a halt as players protest Jacob Blake shooting

After the WNBA announcement of the postponed games for the evening, the Washington Mystics in Palmetto, Florida, each wear white T-shirts with seven bullets on the back protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake. Photo: by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks' boycott of their playoff game over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, prompted the NBA to postpone all games scheduled for Wednesday night and triggered a wave action in other sports.

The big picture: Quick to follow suit were the Women's National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer matches. In baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers called off their game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Seattle Mariners voted against playing the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants game was also postponed.

Updated Aug 26, 2020 - Sports

Milwaukee Brewers opt out of playing tonight after NBA's Jacob Blake boycott

Photo: Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers have decided not to play their scheduled game against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, joining the Milwaukee Bucks and other NBA teams' protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, according to the Wall Street Journal and ESPN.

The latest: The Seattle Mariners, which has more Black players on its roster than any team in the MLB, has voted not to play its game against the San Diego Padres.

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