Vodafone offers smartphone cloud app in fight against long Covid

Vodafone offers smartphone cloud app in fight against long Covid

Kirill Veselkov Imperial.jpg

Vodafone’s charitable foundation is aiding research to help fight Covid-19, via drugs and so-called hyperfoods.

The Vodafone Foundation has created an app, called DreamLab, that people can download to their smartphone to help the team, at Imperial College London, analyse the research. Contributors do not have to be Vodafone customers.

Dr Kirill Veselkov (pictured), assistant professor at Imperial, said: “Combining the processing power of tens of thousands of smartphones, the DreamLab app drastically reduces the time taken to analyse such vast amounts of data. While it would have taken decades using traditional computing methods, the cloud-based network can crunch the same amount of data in months.”

Veselkov’s team is developing critical analysis for long Covid, with mobile supercomputing technology that has previously helped to uncover hundreds of biomolecules in foods against specific types of cancers and Covid-19. Long Covid – sometimes called post-Covid-19 – can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone.

Veselkov said: “Our project takes a radically different approach while uniting the public in one large citizen science AI project. It explores the ‘dark matter’ of nutrition against long Covid beyond the traditional analysis of five major nutrition categories – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Everyone can contribute with their smartphone to this important piece of scientific research without having to be a professional scientist.”

The study, due to be completed in late 2023, will be powered by DreamLab, a crowdsourcing app that uses the processing power of mobile phones to speed up scientific research.

Andrew Dunnett, director of the Vodafone Foundation, said: “As the pandemic continues to have a major impact on public health, I’m delighted that DreamLab users will now have the opportunity to help the scientific community fight long Covid. Thanks to the 2.2 million volunteers who have downloaded DreamLab to date, and the active users who enable Imperial College London’s vital research.”

DreamLab is available to download worldwide in the App Store for iOS or Play Store for Android, and can also be used by Mac users.