Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research in collaboration with the Vodafone Foundation has rolled out a new Android app that makes smartphones assist in fighting cancer.
According to Mashable , the new Android app dubbed DreamLab taps into the unused capacity of smartphones to solve a small part of a cancer research problem. The app starts functioning when a smartphone is plugged in and its battery is over 95 per cent charged. It relies on a cellular or Wi-Fi connection to receive and transmit data.
The Institute’s main idea behind the app is to pool together thousands of idle smartphones and use the phones’ untapped processing power to solve complex tasks in cancer research significantly faster than before.
The institute claims that if the app is downloaded by just 100,000 users, researchers will be able to crunch complex data about 3,000 times faster than the current rate, reported SkyNews .
One of the research teams that benefit from the app is the Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s breast cancer unit led by Dr. Samantha Oakes.
“The Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia is at the forefront of a revolution in cancer research,” said Dr. Oakes.
Dr. Oakes added that with the help of game-changing innovations like DreamLab, she is hopeful that cures of certain types of cancer will be found.
The app lets users choose specific cancer research projects to support, including ovarian cancer, pancreatic, breast and prostate and also how much data they wish to contribute each month (250MB, 500MB or 1GB) on mobile or WiFi, according to CIO . Mobile data used up by DreamLab is free for Vodafone customers.
“Almost every Australian has a heartbreaking story to tell about cancer,” said Alyssa Jones, Head of the Vodafone Foundation Australia.
“We all want to play a part in the fight against this disease and now, with more smartphones than people, we have an opportunity to make a tangible difference.”
To participate, users will just need to download the free Android app from the Google Play Store and put their handsets to charge their phones at night.
While DreamLab is currently unavailable for iPhones, Android users can download it from here .