You can help with Covid research while you sleep by downloading this app

As strange as it might sound, you can now download an app to your phone which helps to fight Covid-19 while you sleep.

Thousands of people have already downloaded the app, which uses the processing power of your smartphone to analyse data during the night while your phone isn’t in use.

The app, DreamLab, has been developed by Imperial College London and the Vodafone Foundation.

The app is not working on a vaccine, but instead uses an algorithm to analyse drug and food molecules to find combinations which will help to fight the virus.

How does it work?

The app works by breaking down a huge amount of data analysis into millions of tiny tasks and distributing them for thousands of devices to carry out individually.

If researchers set up the same amount of analysis on a single high power computer, it would need to run constantly for around 300 years to process the amount of data needed.

However, by shipping out small parts of the task to a large network of 100,000 smartphone devices, at six hours per night, the same job can be done in three months.

The app doesn’t access or use any of your data, it only uses the processing power of your device.

What has it found so far?

Around 100,000 people are already signed up from 17 different countries, adding up to around 100 million calculations.

The first phase of research being carried out through the app is around 80 per cent complete.

So far, a number of food items have been identified as having Covid-fighting properties, and researchers are hopeful that they will be able to be utilised in diet plans and the creation of “hyperfoods.”

A number of existing medicines have also been found to have a potential effect in fighting Covid, including some diabetes and heart disease medications.

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