Vodafone to use mobile data to help cure cancer

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 24 October 2017
Are you helping cure cancer through DreamLab?

Vodafone has launched a new data-crunching app that uses the power of idle mobile phones to help the Garvan Institute of Medical Research cure cancer.

It is harnessing the power of people's phones when they are charging overnight to form a ‘virtual supercomputer’ and means vital data is being crunched faster than the Garvan Institute’s computers can.

It’s part of Vodafone Foundation’s global “Connecting for Good” program and was developed by the telco to support the Garvan Institute’s cancer genomics research. 

J. Walter Thompson has created the ‘DreamJob’ campaign for the initiative, and is working with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, MEC and Webling to get 1 million people downloading and using the app. JWT was appointed to the account in March.

Ads featuring actress, model and cancer survivor, Tessa James, will run across TV, press, digital, and PR.

It’s also encouraging people to change their job title to ‘Cancer Researcher at DreamLab App’ on LinkedIn to raise awareness.


Vodafone Australia is giving customers the data used free of charge. Other network customers can still use it but will either need to pay for the data or use their wifi plan.

Nearly 100,000 AUstralians have already downloaded the DreamLab app.

It’s available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, powered by Amazon Web Services and was built by Transpire.

A statement on the Vodafone Australia site says: “With so many Australians affected by cancer, finding answers through medical research is incredibly important. The Garvan Institute of Medical Research needs more computing power to speed up cancer research. Donate the power of your smartphone to help by simply downloading the app and charging your smartphone while you sleep.

“Given that one in two Australians will be affected by cancer in their lifetimes, we hope you will take up your new night shift and become a DreamLab cancer researcher.”

Similarly, in 2014 Cancer Research UK built a moble gaming app that used the time people spend playing games on their phone to crunch medical data and help cure the disease.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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