De toekomst van therapie in uw eigen virtuele handen?juli 23, 2020
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Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the marketing of the first videogame therapeutic device, called EndeavorRX, to help improve the attention in children (8 to 12 years old) with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The prescription-only digital therapy is to be used as part of a more extensive therapeutic program that may include clinician-directed therapy, medication, or other educational programs. In the game, players have to avoid on-screen obstacles like flames or spikes while on a mission to collect other targets. The game is designed to help reinforce and encourage multitasking to improve focus.
As a psychiatrist whose research and clinical focus is centered around the growing field of digital health, especially as it relates to early intervention programs for adolescents and young adults in the early stages of psychosis, I am encouraged by this landmark FDA approval. The mental health field has not yet fully embraced or taken advantage of the many opportunities that digital technologies can provide. This video game represents the next level forward.
The FDA’s decision paves the way for the development of other digital inventions and interventions. Virtual reality, social media, wearables; there is a host of research underway in the field of psychiatry aimed at understanding how to harness technology to improve outcomes. A new generation of digital tools may one day be available to augment or move beyond traditional psychiatric care, and to address ongoing gaps in available treatment options for some difficult to treat psychiatric conditions.
The power of digital has shown itself invaluable. Just look at the COVID-19 pandemic; people are struggling with their mental health, and things like video group chats and telehealth have helped individuals stay connected to their friends, loved ones, and therapists. We are living in a whole new world, and these digital tools are here to stay.
We still have a lot to learn about how to use things like videogames in therapy to their fullest. But, in the meantime, I say game on!