Over the next five years, medical activity will generate more data than social media. A huge amount of wasted information: The McKinsey Institute estimates that between 10% and 30% of this data is used.
The problem is that managing and exploiting such a large amount of data requires enormous computer processing capabilities. A power that could perhaps be gathered if all the users of private telephones gave up part of the processing capacity of our mobile, giving rise to a gigantic collaborative computer. This is the idea that Imperial College London and the Vodafone Foundation are using to accelerate two key investigations: DRUGS, against cancer, and DreamLab, against covid-19.
This participatory network is used to make complex calculations in infinitely less time. “We develop machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to fight cancer,” continues the expert. “When the pandemic started, we readapt them to fight covid-19.” Veselkov and his team study how certain molecules in food can fight the coronavirus. “We are interested in developing nutrition strategies tailored to patients who are already at home. Something complementary to the vaccine. We know that thousands of people suffer the effects of covid-19 for a long time. And this diet can be a way to face the problem ”, he adds.
Anyone can be part of this super collaborative computer. Simply download the DreamLab application from the Google or Apple stores. The app downloads scientific data to our phone to be able to process them on it, but in no case will it collect personal data from the user’s mobile.
At the moment, the project has already identified “dozens of bioactive molecules in food that can combat covid-19”. “This will allow us to design foods rich in phytochemicals to fight the virus,” adds the scientist. Some foods that some chefs are already studying to develop dishes and recipes, and that in the future may be combined with existing drugs.
In the video that heads this article, prepared by The Vodafone Observatory of the Company, Veselkov explains all the keys to this collaborative public health project.