STANFORD (CBS SF) — A new app developed by a Stanford professor is giving smartphones the power to help fight Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Stanford Chemistry Professor Vijay Pande developed the Folding@home mobile app with Sony Corp. that taps into the users’ smartphone to have them carry out protein-folding simulations.

“There are a ton of people with really powerful phones, and if we can use them efficiently, it sets the stage for something really great,” Pande told the Stanford News.

Sony and Pande launched the app to help spread out the computing load of processing the complex simulations.  The app is designed to run when the phones are not in use, and can be shut down at any time.  If the app is shut down while in the middle of a calculation, it will seamlessly transfer the simulation to another phone, maximizing the network’s capacity.

The app is available in the Google Play store.