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Vodafone's DreamLab app is helping to speed up Covid-19 research

Save the world while you sleep

The Vodafone Foundation has teamed up with Imperial College London (and everyone who downloads its app) to speed up Covid-19 research. Yep - you heard right.

DreamLab uses the collective computing power of its users’ smartphones to analyse complex data while their owners sleep. This gives scientists access to much-needed processing clout when solving problems, like identifying existing drugs and food-based molecules that may benefit Covid-19 patients.

The app itself isn’t new. Vodafone Foundation launched DreamLab to better understand and identify cures for cancers and other conditions in 2017. Given the speed with which the recent coronavirus outbreak has become a global pandemic, however, Vodafone is redirecting its efforts to find a Covid-19 cure.

How does it work?

As you sleep with your phone on charge, your phone’s processing power feeds into the app, combining with other phones with DreamLab installed, ultimately, creating a virtual supercomputer, capable of processing millions of calculations. The more people that download it, the higher the chances of it helping scientists benefiting from its communal computing to find a cure for Covid-19.

As for what it’s specifically focusing on, phase one will identify existing drugs and food-based molecules with anti-viral properties that may benefit those with Covid-19.

Next, phase 2 optimises combinations of these drugs and food molecules to provide potential drug treatments and nutritional advice for those with Covid-19. Once complete, findings will be made available to the medical world to facilitate clinical trials.

How to download it?

To download the app, search for DreamLab in the App Store for iOS here, or Play Store for Android. It’s is totally free, and Vodafone customers using it can donate mobile data without having to worry about going over their limit.

Those on other networks will be asked how much data they would like to donate to power the app or can connect via Wifi to avoid dipping into their data allowance.