Around 3 years ago, my mum introduced me to an app she’d discovered called DreamLab. Like some of you reading this, I’d never heard of it. But, once I learned what the app was, I started using it straight away and have never turned back.
Now, you might be thinking, “what’s so special about this app? There are tons of apps out there.”
“DreamLab is a specialist app, developed by Vodafone Foundation Australia, that uses the processing power of smartphones to help analyse complex data while their owners sleep, to speed up cancer and coronavirus research.
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.” – Vodafone
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
How does DreamLab work?
Users of the free DreamLab app can use their smartphone to harness the collective processing power of their mobile phones to speed up research into treatment for cancer and COVID-19. This is done as part of a partnership between Vodafone Foundation and scientists at numerous science research organisations, such as Imperial College London, and the AIRC Foundation for Cancer Research in Italy.
There are always various projects to choose from on the app, so you can decide which type of project you’d like to help with.
All you have to do is plug in your phone to charge at night as you probably already would, open the DreamLab app, select which project you want to power, and start your vital medical research data crunching session. After a few seconds, the screen will dim right down so it doesn’t create any light in the room, and then you’re able to go to sleep like normal.
Once powered, DreamLab works by creating a network of smartphones to power a virtual supercomputer, capable of processing billions of calculations, without collecting or disclosing users’ location data. It’s important to note that no personal data is downloaded to or processed from the user’s device.
The projects available combine artificial intelligence and the processing power of idle smartphones to speed up research, such as the analysis of millions of combinations of existing cancer drugs and food molecules to identify how they could potentially be adjusted to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cancer treatments.
There are also projects for COVID-19 that help with the discovery of novel anti-viral components in existing medicines, and help the hunt for anti-viral molecules in foods.
(Image source: Vodafone Foundation)
This video shows how DreamLab is helping the fight against COVID-19:
Why you should use DreamLab
As mentioned previously, I’ve been powering DreamLab for about 3 years. It was only when I had a lightbulb moment as I was going to sleep one night, after a day where the Avrion team had been discussing our Corporate Social Responsibilities, that I realised I should introduce DreamLab to the rest of the team.
I’ve always been keen to encourage other people to join me in powering DreamLab. Not just because I’ve had some very sad cancer and COVID-19-related experiences in my family, but also because I know that a tremendously scary amount of people have also been affected by at least one of these terrible illnesses.
It’s staggering that 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, so it’s only right that we come together to support each other as much as we can when any of us are going through those frightening times – which most of us can probably relate to.
Plus, DreamLab isn’t just accessible in the UK, it’s available to download worldwide – so if you know anyone living outside the UK, tell them about DreamLab, and the research we power together will help the whole world to combat cancer and COVID-19. How wonderful is that?
DreamLab has already supported four world-first discoveries in cancer research. We can all come together to achieve even more.
To find out more about DreamLab and to download it, visit the Vodafone website.
If you’re one of the few lucky people who hasn’t been sadly affected by cancer or COVID-19, so might think DreamLab won’t help you, please don’t rule this out. You never know when you might rely on this research in the future.