Work to develop swine flu surveys over mobile phones, by Telefónica Mexico and German firm Myriad Group AG, has been shortlisted for ‘messaging application or service: social use’ at the 2010 Global Messaging Awards.

Telefónica Mexico and Myriad Group AG developed the survey tool in partnership with the Mexican Federal Ministry of Health and researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Myriad Service Platform was used to deliver a short six-question survey, using the same system Telefónica Mexico uses to deliver top-ups for over 18m customers. It was the first time such mobile phone-based research had been carried out in Mexico, and the largest health survey ever conducted anywhere via mobile phones.

The partnership was shortlisted for its key contribution to the work done by the Mexican Federal Ministry of Health in responding quickly to the H1N1 virus outbreak.

Robust data on how the virus was spreading was essential which needed a platform that was scalable, simple to use and quick to deploy.

“The outbreak of H1N1 flu was the largest public health challenge in recent Mexican history,” said Fabian Bifaretti, CEO of Telefónica Mexico.

“Telefónica and Myriad provided a timely and highly relevant service to the community, with the unprecedented scale of the survey dataset proving extremely valuable to the many scientists seeking to understand the epidemic potential of this virus.”

“We are honoured to be recognized for this prestigious award,” commented Steve Langkamp, Myriad chief commercial officer.

“Myriad’s participation in this landmark survey in conjunction with Telefónica Mexico, highlights new ways in which proven messaging technologies can be deployed to deliver a beneficial social impact via mobile messaging on mass-market phones.”

Myriad Group AG is a global leader in mobile technology and has shipped over three and a half billion software applications in more than two billion mobile phones.

Myriad also develops USSD-based customer self-care platforms that deliver over 10 billion messages a year to 220m mobile users across more than 30 mobile operators worldwide.