The DreamLab app, developed by Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London, has completed Phase 1 of its research into potential treatments for COVID-19.

Countries around the world are slowly emerging from their coronavirus lockdowns, but the threat of the global pandemic is far from over.

Thanks to our DreamLab users, Phase 1 of the Corona-AI project is now complete. Since the project launched in April 2020, our DreamLab users have crunched nearly 100 million calculations.

The speed and scale of this research has been made possible with around 140,000 devices completing around 1.3 million calculations every night using DreamLab. That’s about 10 calculations per night per device, with the combined processing power from DreamLab several times faster than Imperial’s own supercomputer.

DreamLab works by using the collective processing power of idle smartphones to analyse complex data, helping speed up vital research for a team of scientists at Imperial College London. A desktop computer running 24-hours a day would take decades to process the data, but a network of 100,000 smartphones running overnight can do the job in just a couple of months.

Corona-AI Phase 1 – 100 million calculations
140,000 phones crunch 1.3 million calculations every night
140,000 phones = three supercomputers+

This phase has focused on examining thousands of existing drugs and food molecules, and identifying those with anti-viral properties, which could be used to treat patients with coronavirus.

The project uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand what effects existing drugs and food molecules might have on the genetic profile of Covid-19 in mathematical simulations. The AI selects which drugs and foods to examine based on insights from research scientists and also on its calculations of which are most likely to succeed.

Now Phase 1 of the Corona-AI project is complete, Imperial College will publish these initial findings and then Phase 2 will commence. While Phase 1 looked at the effects of individual drugs and food molecules on Covid-19, Phase 2 will look at optimising combinations of these drugs and foods for improved efficiency against the disease.

With both phases, it will be up to researchers in the lab to replicate any promising findings from Corona-AI’s mathematical simulations in the real world. Only then, could any treatments be developed further.

Dr Kirill Veselkov, who is the lead scientist on the project at Imperial College London, emphasised the importance of developing treatments, even if an effective vaccine is developed.

“Any potential treatments developed from this project would complement a vaccine, not replace it,” said Dr Veselkov. “Especially if the virus mutates and adapts, staying with us in the years ahead”.

This work will be made possible if we all plug in our smartphones (and tablets) every night and power the DreamLab app. Available for iOS and Android, it can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play Store.

Terms and conditions

A compatible handset is required to download and use DreamLab. Downloading DreamLab will consume data. Once downloaded, DreamLab can be used when your device (i) is connected to a charging source and (ii) has mobile network or WiFi connectivity. Mobile data to use DreamLab is free for Vodafone Australia customers on the Vodafone Australia network. Roaming incurs international rates.

For the DreamLab privacy statement, please see the DreamLab Privacy page.

For the full list of end user terms and conditions please visit our DreamLab User Terms page.

By downloading, installing or otherwise using the DreamLab application on your Device, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms, you should not download, install or otherwise use DreamLab Application.

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Alyssa Jones

Alyssa Jones