BOSTON, May 11, 2021 Mightier, provider of a ground-breaking, clinically-proven video game system for teaching children emotional regulation, today released results of a first of its kind pilot program that studied the impact of using Mightier’s video game platform to support treatment of children with Autism.
Mightier collaborated with Magellan Healthcare, the behavioral and specialty healthcare segment of Magellan Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN), to provide families access to the Mightier program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results showed 81% of children who played Mightier in conjunction with applied behavior analysis (ABA) had parents report behavioral improvement, compared to 55% of parents reporting behavioral improvement from ABA alone, representing a 45% improvement in symptoms for children with autism. To realize this improvement, children played as little as one hour per week for three months. Most notably, adding Mightier to ABA reduced aggressive behavior in children with autism by over twice as much compared to ABA alone, and led to reductions in stress for parents and families.
“It is important to understand families as a whole, and to not only look at children’s symptoms when deploying an intervention. Families using Mightier reported decreased stress, an increase in confidence, and an increase in access to resources relative to control – gains that point to improvements for the child as well as higher functionality for parents and families,” said Matthew Miller, senior vice president, behavioral health, Magellan Healthcare.
Used in the home, Mightier’s innovative technology was developed at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The program combines 25 video games with an integrated heart rate monitoring band, allowing kids to see their heart rate fluctuate as they face challenges within the game. As the child’s heart rate increases, children are prompted to apply coping skills, such as deep breathing, to help manage their stress and frustration.
“Mightier is a proven way to help children build emotional regulation skills, especially those who have a tough time with tantrums, anger, aggression, irritability and feelings of anxiety. It is immediate and scalable, meaning families get help right in the moment of need, and avoid the wait associated with starting new services. This is particularly important in the wake of the pandemic as demands for mental health care rise and there is a shortage of providers,” said Jason Kahn Ph.D., chief science officer and co-founder of Mightier.
Earlier this year, Mightier announced a two-year NIMH-funded research project that will examine the impact of the Mightier games on improving the lives of children with a broader range of disorders, such as ADHD, anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Enrollment is now underway throughout the Magellan network. Two hundred members with a wide variety of mental health conditions are expected to be recruited.
“Mightier can successfully engage children and augment care in ways that were not previously possible,” said Miller. “Magellan is continuously incorporating innovative strategies into treatment routines and Mightier is one of those examples.”
About Mightier: Mightier is a Boston-based startup on a mission to empower every child to build emotional strength. Mightier pairs video games with clinically validated strategies to build emotional resilience and confidence. The approach is backed by a decade of clinical research at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and has been shown to reduce outbursts by 62 percent, oppositional behavior by 40 percent, and family stress by 19 percent. For more information, visit Mightier.com.
About Magellan Healthcare
Magellan Healthcare, Inc., the healthcare business unit of Magellan Health, Inc., offers solutions for complex conditions in the areas of behavioral health, and medical specialty treatment. Magellan Healthcare serves commercial health plans, employers, state and local governments, and the Federal government, including the Department of Defense.
About Magellan Health
Magellan Health, Inc., is a leader in managing the fastest growing, most complex areas of health, including special populations, complete pharmacy benefits and other specialty areas of healthcare. Magellan supports innovative ways of accessing better health through technology, while remaining focused on the critical personal relationships that are necessary to achieve a healthy, vibrant life. Magellan’s customers include health plans and other managed care organizations, employers, labor unions, various military and governmental agencies and third-party administrators.