A Boston startup hopes to get F.D.A. Approval for its “Project EVO,” a video game for A.D.H.D. testing and therapy.

The benefits and drawbacks of video games may be a hotly contested topic among certain parent circles, but a Boston startup is set on proving that its video game can make a constructive impact — especially for those struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

“Project EVO,” designed by the startup Akili Interactive Labs, is a cognitive video game that could become the first of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for A.D.H.D. therapeutic treatment, reports The Next Web.

The goal of those playing “Project EVO” is to navigate through water rapids while avoiding any icebergs and collecting as many “green objects” as possible. Meanwhile, the game tracks the user’s concentration and stress levels, which helps it determine whether he is showing symptoms of A.D.H.D. or autism. Two strong advantages of the game are that it could eliminate the need to visit the hospital for testing — which alone causes a patient stress and could misconstrue a diagnosis — and replace standard autism/A.D.H.D. tests that are boring and not engaging, Akili co-founder and COO Eddie Martucci told The Next Web.

In addition to being a diagnosis tool, “Project EVO” can adapt to the player’s abilities, helping to ease any discouragement and allowing success to become more attainable. 

In order to protect the patient’s medical privacy, data collected by the game will only be available to healthcare professionals in assessing the treatment’s effectiveness for their patient.

Akili is currently working with research centers on final tests of the video game before approaching the F.D.A. for approval.

Top photo courtesy of Akili Interactive Labs