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Project:EVO by Akili Interactive labs is video game designed to identify signs of Alzheimer and track development of disease.

From Re/code‘s article – Brainteaser: Can an iPad Game Detect Alzheimer’s? 

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, has struck a deal with therapeutic game developer Akili Interactive Labs to test whether Project:EVO, which runs on iPhones and iPads, can discern cognitive differences in healthy older adults at risk of developing the disease. The agreement will be announced Thursday morning.

Researchers at the Gazzaley Lab at the University of California, San Francisco first developed the underlying mechanics in Project:EVO for NeuroRacer, a video game that required players to steer around a track while shooting down road signs. A Nature study found that the multitasking strains of the challenges actually improved working memory and sustained focus among the elderly — and that the cognitive gains persisted for months.

Brainteaser, Project EVO

Photo rights reserved by Akili Interactive Labs

If you have not figured out , Akili Interactive Labs is not just another video game company.  It was co-founder by Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist and the Director of Gazzaley Lab at University of California at San Francisco.  He wanted to take his findings and put them to work in medical products.

Not only does this game – Project:EVO detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, it can also track development of Alzheimer’s disease and measure improvement of Alzheimer’s folks playing the game.

This collaboration will use Project:EVO and 100 healthy adults.  It will track their performance and measure other factors that relate to development of Alzheimer’s disease for a course of month. These researchers are hoping that the results will further help with diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and setting a benchmark for performance treatment with this game.  They want to use Project:EVO to create a baseline for therapy – not just a game used during a clinical trial.

What do you think about having a video game, Project:EVO, being used as a medical tool?

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