We spend an increasing amount of time on our phones, whether it’s texting mates, idly scrolling through Instagram or streaming new tunes or movies.
But what if downloading a single app could help the fight against cancer? Well, that’s where DreamLab comes in. A collaboration between the Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London, DreamLab is an app with a mission.
Using your smartphone’s power, it has the ability to supercharge research into various cancers, speeding up breakthroughs and treatments in the process.
So, how does it work? And how can you get involved? Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about DreamLab.
Harnessing the power of your smartphone
The concept behind DreamLab is simple, but smart. It uses the power of every smartphone onto which it’s been downloaded to help crunch data about different kinds of cancer.
Vodafone says that a single PC running for 24 hours a day would take 300 years to process the data required to calculate the problems that need solving as part of a massive research project.
But 100,000 smartphones with DreamLab left running for six hours can do the same work in just three months. This will allow Imperial College researchers to learn more about how different drugs can be repurposed to tackle different kinds of cancer.
Simply plug your phone in to start
To get going, you’ll need the DreamLab app on your phone. It’s available on both iOS and Android.
DreamLab gets to work on your smartphone when it’s plugged in and charging, and this is best done when plugged in for a long time. Hence Vodafone saying you can ‘fight cancer while you sleep’ by firing up the app when you give your device a charge overnight.
It then uses data from your phone to give its super computers a boost and do the all important work of understanding and trying to cure cancer.
Choose which cancer you want to help research
Rather than offer a general approach, DreamLab lets you choose which kind of cancer you want to help research. This is especially good for anyone who’s been affected directly by the disease and wants to put their efforts into a particular project. DreamLab focuses on breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers.
It won’t eat up your data allowance
If you’re a Vodafone customer, using DreamLab will not eat up any of your data allowance. And no matter what network you're on, you can specify how much data it uses. That means that even if you’ve only got a few MB to spare, you can make a real difference.
See stats on how being a Dreamer is saving lives
The app is loaded with loads of stats to see just how the data you’re giving is helping with Imperial College’s work.
It shows how much work each project requires in terms of calculations, how much data is needed to do it and how many ‘Dreamers’ are pitching in to get the project completed. You can even see how many calculations the data you’ve given has helped to crunch. It’s tangible and will make you want to do more.
Tell your mates
The more people download DreamLab and become Dreamers, the better chance researchers have of learning more about drugs and their impact on cancer. So make sure you tell your mates, either via social media or in person.
And use the hashtag #SleepLikeAHero to bring more people into the conversation.