21 Dec How you can help Covid research while you sleep!
Do you want to help fight the Coronavirus without much effort? Well, there is a way and all you need is a smartphone..
While most standard research is carried out with traditional methods and usually takes many years to develop, DreamLab has found a smarter and quicker way to approach Coronavirus research. DreamLab is a specialist app created by Vodafone Foundation that collects data overnight while you are sleeping and analyses it for valuable research.
Originally, DreamLab was created for cancer research, however, after the COVID-19 outbreak they have launched an additional “Corona-AI” project on the app, using the same technology to fight the pandemic. There are currently around 100,000 people worldwide donating their smartphone computing time for the purpose of Covid research.
How does it work?
The app harnesses artificial intelligence and the power of idle smartphones in order to find the best working anti-viral components in existing medicine and hunt for anti-viral molecules in foods. The algorithms test the data through multiple simulations and calculations, finding out what nutrients could potentially help those suffering from the long Covid symptoms.
Professor Kirill Veselkov from Imperial College London’s Faculty of Medicine commented:
"Every time a volunteer successfully completes a "calculation", what their phone actually does is run through a complex simulation trying out various food molecule combinations to see which ones might theoretically help a person fight Covid-19. There are nearly 100 million different combinations to try so the more phones, the better."
Is my personal data safe?
The smart AI-based app creates a network of smartphones to power a virtual supercomputer that is capable of processing billions of calculations at a time, without collecting or disclosing user’s location data. So, none of the personal data will be downloaded or processed from your device while using the app.
The power of volunteering
The researchers say that the help from volunteers using the DreamLab app for research is invaluable. The amount of data they have collected and analysed in just three months would have otherwise taken a normal computer around 300 years to process. If you used this app for a year, you could carry out an astonishing 53 million calculations, without moving a single finger..
What are the findings?
While there is still no evidence that foods could help people with Coronavirus or stop them getting it, more research is extremely beneficial and needed in order to find anything that may be helpful.
The professor said:
"Although the identification of nutrients in food may possibly have a role in the future reduction of severe Covid-19, it's important that the current pandemic will be managed through continuing to follow safe social distancing, hygiene and the much welcomed vaccines that are being developed."
Researchers say that they have found more than 50 specific molecules that could theoretically have anti-covid properties. For instance, based on the current findings, berries, apples, oranges, broccoli, cabbage, lemons, onions, garslic, parsley and beans all appear to contain covid-fighting molecules..
Where can I find DreamLab?
DreamLab is available to download for free worldwide and you can find it on either GooglePlay for Android or the App Store for iOS.
The app is free to use for Vodafone customers in Australia, UK, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Ghana, South Africa, Lesotho, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Netherlands and Albania. This means that it will not eat into monthly data allowances of Vodafone customers. For users with other networks, connecting to Wi-Fi may be the best idea, otherwise the app will use your mobile data.
Contributing to valuable research has never been this easy.. With the DreamLab app you can help research Coronavirus while literally asleep. All you need to do is download the app and allow it to access data while you get your night rest. Thousands of Brits are already volunteering in the project and the more people join them, the better..
Don’t forget to also share this article with your friends and family to encourage more people to participate in this valuable research!