Crowd-powered app backed by John Boyega is helping win the fight against cancer



DreamLab, an app that helps fight cancer by harnessing the power of your smartphone while you sleep, has hit two million calculations in its first two months.

DreamLab is a partnership between Imperial College London and Vodafone Foundation, and was launched by Star Wars actor John Boyega in May. It drastically reduces the time it takes cancer researchers at the university to match cancer treatments to patients’ genetic profiles, and has already made a real difference.

“We have made great headway with the data so far but we need more citizen scientists to download DreamLab and regularly use the app,” says Dr Kirill Veselkov of Imperial College London’s department of surgery and cancer. “We’re looking ahead to using the data to help us find more solutions like this to improve cancer treatment.”

The lie-in king

It’s estimated that if 100,000 of DreamLab’s users slept an extra 15 minutes per night, the app could generate an extra 100,000 calculations, so Boyega has teamed up with sleep specialist Sammy Margo to offer a collection of tips for getting a little more shut-eye.

Advice includes keeping your bedroom at a cool 16-18C, and enjoying an evening snack of foods like bananas and Marmite, which are high in trytophan (the catalyst for melatonin production).