DreamLab: the app that fights Covid-19 while we sleep

Technology News

Technology and research have become the best allies to combat the current Covid-19 health crisis. The almost daily studies of different prestigious entities are allowing great advances in the fight against the coronavirus. However, little has been said so far of a silent revolution with domestic technology that also tackles this pandemic.

For two months, more than 179,000 mobile phones of private customers around the world have been working interconnected and selflessly in search of possible solutions to this emergency situation.

These virtual volunteers, supported by the Imperial College of London and the Vodafone Foundation , daily give up the partial use of the processors of their smartphones to carry out billions of scientific calculations against the virus. Day and night united, under the umbrella of the DreamLab application , as if they were a large supercomputer in the style of MareNostrum in Barcelona.

This application, which was originally an Australian app for scientific research projects against cancer, connects terminals with Artificial Intelligence equipment. In this particular data crossing, possible combinations of drugs and food molecules with antiviral properties against the coronavirus are analyzed.

The DreamLab app, along with several Android applications.
The DreamLab app, along with several Android applications.
“In these difficult times, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help a lot. The DreamLab team is using the power of AI to detect approved drugs that may have the potential to combat Covid-19 and also to identify food components that allow us to increase our immunity against the effects of the virus “, emphasizes the professor of the prestigious Yale Public School of Health (YSPH), Vasilis Vasiliou.

By activating the application, when we are charging the smartphone or if we give it authorization to work in silence while we sleep, the gray mass of the terminal is incorporated into a networked system also focused on shortening the deadlines of several scientific programs in phase 1. One task professional that usually lasts for more than six months.

The app consumes minimal data, which in the case of Vodafone customers is free, but it never geolocates the terminal or uses the user’s personal information such as photos or contacts. Her target to beat has a name and surname: Covid-19.

So far DreamLab has made more than 18.1 million calculations, but its goal is to reach 100 million operations.

At the same time, with this application you can also collaborate on six other research projects. From Italy Airc proposes the development of personalized medicine for cancer patients. In contrast, in Australia The Garvan Institute uses this method for the development of phenotypic information from patients.

“We are using a novel class of network-based Artificial Intelligence methods to identify antiviral compounds among a data set of thousands of molecules. We have successfully used these methods to find superfoods that contain compounds similar to anticancer drugs, and now We are updating them for the new disease, “says Michael Bronstein, Chairman of Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London and Head of Graph Learning Research on Twitter.

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