Back in 2017, the Vodafone Foundation developed an award winning app to help you aid cancer research. Now it’s letting you help Imperial College London fight COVID-19.
The DreamLab app works by harnessing the computing power of multiple smartphones normally inactive overnight.
Instead of sitting there doing nothing while you sleep, you can now run the app and let your phone perform potentially lifesaving mathematical calculations throughout the night.
Vodafone will cover your data in the UK and even its Roam-free destinations, while users on other networks can select how much mobile data they’re willing to give up, from 50MB to 500MB per month, or from 250MB to unlimited if using Wi-Fi.
Once active, the combined computing power of hopefully tens or hundreds of thousands of users, will help create a virtual supercomputer able to process millions of calculations.
There’s really no need to go into any more depth here, as every second counts – so stop whatever you are doing and get this app on your phone.
Also, if you’re like me and have multiple phones at your disposal, get it going on as many devices as you can!
Official Press Release
8th April 2020, London: The Vodafone Foundation and scientists at Imperial College London are asking smartphone users across the UK to come together to support a project to speed up research into effective treatments for Covid-19.
The Corona-AI project will be delivered through DreamLab; an award-winning app developed by the Vodafone Foundation and launched in 2017 to facilitate cancer research.
To get involved, all people need to do is download the DreamLab app and activate it every night whilst they sleep and charge their phones. This collective processing power creates a virtual supercomputer, capable of processing millions of calculations. The project uses Artificial Intelligence to trawl through data and identify existing drugs and food molecules that could benefit those with the infectious disease. The more people that plug in, the quicker possible treatments will be found. No personal data from the user’s device is affected or used in any way.
The Corona-AI project is split into two phases:
- Phase 1 will identify existing drugs and food-based molecules with anti-viral properties that may benefit those with Covid-19.
- Phase 2 will optimise combinations of these drugs and food molecules to provide potential drug treatments and nutritional advice for those with Covid-19.
Once the research is complete, it will be made available to the medical profession to facilitate clinical trials. In addition, any food-related findings will be translated into dietary advice that can be implemented by the medical community for patients recovering from Covid-19.
Dr Kirill Veselkov from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, who is leading the research, said: “We urgently need new treatments to tackle Covid-19. There are existing drugs out there that might work to treat it; and the great thing about repurposing existing drugs is that we already know they are safe and therefore could get them to patients quickly. However, we have to do difficult and complicated analyses using artificial intelligence and all of this takes a huge amount of computing power. DreamLab creates a supercomputer that enables us to do this important work in a relatively short timeframe.”
Helen Lamprell, Trustee and board member of the Vodafone UK Foundation and General Counsel and External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK said, “We’re working hard to keep the UK connected during this challenging time. We ask everyone to come together and harness the collective power of their smartphones by connecting to DreamLab. If everyone in the UK connects, we have the potential to really make a difference in the fight against Covid-19.”
- To download the app, search for DreamLab in the App store for iOS or Play Store for Android. Vodafone customers can activate DreamLab for free using either mobile data or Wifi connectivity. Those on other networks will be asked how much data they would like to donate to power the app, or can connect via Wifi.