DreamLab, the app to help in the fight against COVID-19

  • Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London scientists deploy DreamLab app to speed up coronavirus research;
  • DreamLab uses the processing power of smartphones to help analyse complex data while their owners sleep;
  • Data will help Imperial College London scientists identify existing drugs and food-based molecules with anti-viral properties, ultimately enabling tailored treatments for patients with coronavirus.

Smartphone users are being encouraged to harness the collective processing power of their mobile phones to help speed up research into treatments for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) using the free DreamLab app. The app is using the common processing power of smartphones to compute complex data much faster than traditionally.

DreamLab is a specialist app, developed by Vodafone Foundation Australia as an easy way for anyone to support cancer research while their phone is on charge overnight. Today, a new Corona-AI project has launched on the app, which will use the same technology to help in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Researchers believe that this work could speed up access to effective drugs and enable tailored treatments against this infectious disease.

The project is split into two phases:

  1. To identify uses of the existing drugs and food-based molecules with anti-viral properties;
  2. To optimise combinations of these drugs and food molecules with antiviral properties for improved efficiency against coronavirus infections.

While traditional experimental research and standard research methods could take years to develop, the mobile cloud-based processing approach of DreamLab can drastically reduce the time taken to analyse the huge amount of data that exists.

A desktop computer running 24-hours a day would take decades to process the data, but a network of 100,000 smartphones running overnight could do the job in just a couple of months.

The app is available to download now in Romania, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the UK, with other countries to follow in the coming weeks.

DreamLab is free to download in the App store for iOS or Play Store for Android. In order for the app to work in Romanian, users must have their phones set in this language previous to the download. One installed, the app will eat into monthly data allowances.

Vodafone Romania is supporting the DreamLab project by offering free national data for all the Vodafone customers. No personal data is downloaded to or processed from the user’s device.

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