Corona-AI project empowers smartphone users to aid COVID-19 research

The two main stakeholders have called for smartphone users throughout the UK to support the Corona-AI project in accelerating COVID-19 research.

Smartphone users can do this by downloading the DreamLab app and activate it every night before charging their phones and going to sleep.

Collectively, this will create a virtual supercomputer that can process millions of calculations. Scientists at Imperial College London have predicted that 100,000 DreamLab users powering the app for six hours every night for three months would complete phase one of the research.

The Corona-AI project has two phases; phase one will be focused on drug and food-based molecule discovery, while phase two will involve combining drug and molecule candidates to create treatments and provide nutritional advice.

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“We urgently need new treatments to tackle Covid-19,” said Dr Kirill Veselkov, leader of the project and assistant professor in computational medicine at Imperial College London. “There are existing drugs out there that might work to treat it, and the great thing about repurposing existing drugs is that we already know they are safe, and therefore could get them to patients quickly.

“However, we have to do difficult and complicated analyses using artificial intelligence, and all of this takes a huge amount of computing power.

“DreamLab creates a supercomputer that enables us to do this important work in a relatively short timeframe.”

Helen Lamprell, trustee and board member of the Vodafone Foundation, added: “We’re working hard to keep the UK connected during this challenging time. We ask everyone to come together and harness the collective power of their smartphones by connecting to DreamLab.

“If everyone in the UK connects, we have the potential to really make a difference in the fight against Covid-19.”

DreamLab was launched in 2017 by the Vodafone Foundation to facilitate cancer research.


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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.