Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.

During a panel at this week’s GamesBeat Summit, several experts in the field talked about the rise of digital entertainment as a new form of treatment. More specifically, they spoke about how video games can be used for a variety of healthcare applications, including neurological illnesses and even patient care. The panelists were Eddie Martucci, the CEO and co-founder of Akili Interactive, Mirelle Phillips, the founder of Studio Elsewhere and Laura Tabacof, assistant professor of rehabilitation at Mount Sinai. Stanley Pierre-Louis, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, moderated the panel.

Martucci’s studio, Akili, produces EndeavorRx, produces an FDA-approved video game treatment for children with ADHD. As Martucci said, getting a game approved as a medical treatment was not easy: “The path was to take it all the way through clinical trials, so we’ve done large-scale clinical trials just like you’d expect from a pharmaceutical product. We took it to the FDA’s two-year review process for the first time and EndeavorRx is still the only FDA-approved video game out there. It was a long journey, took a long time and I think there’s lot we can learn now going forward.”

Pierre-Louis spoke about the use of gaming and VR technology on pain management, and Tabacof concurred that traditional treatments are no longer the only option. “Patients are desperate for these types of approaches. 20% of the American population lives with chronic pain, and only 10% actually feel any...