Apple has announced that it will be bringing an option for organ donation to the Health App in iOS 10 when it launches this fall. The announcement came on Tuesday; Apple announced that it would be partnering with Donate Life America to accomplish this. The Health App’s Medical ID feature which already keeps track of your medical and health information will now have an option for you to sign up as a donor for your eyes, tissues and organs.
Health has become an increasingly important issue to Apple. Their ads and keynotes have heavily featured what their technology can do for people with severed limbs, blindness and autism. And one of the main features of the Apple Watch is to track your vitals and relay information to your doctors in real time (something the watch is actually good for). Now Apple is offering everyone with an iOS device the chance to become an organ donor.
It’s interesting to note that the feature is not available in the iOS 10 beta released to developers yet but it will be available in the stable release of the software coming this fall with the release of the iPhone 7.
You will be able to sign up to become a donor via the Medical ID feature and help one of the 120,000 people on the organ donation list in the US. Your information will be sent to the National Donate Life Registry, which is managed by Donate Life America and there it will be paired up with the life you are best fit to save. There is ever expanding need for this kind of service since one person is added to the list every 10 minutes. Not only that, one person dies waiting for a transplant every hour (22 people a day). David Fleming, President and CEO of Donate Life America says that the new feature will allow a single person to help save the lives of up to eight people. He said that young people weren’t registering at the rate they had before and this would help bring a “substantial increase” memberships. This is evidenced by the fact that Facebook tried this once too. It allowed users to display their identities as donors on their pages and attracted a day high of 13000 registered users (according to Johns Hopkins University).
Apple’s history has a monumental event that has a lot to do with organ donation. Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple suffered because he needed a liver transplant. Tim Cook offered him part of his liver in 2009 but he refused and endured an ‘excruciating wait’ for a transplant. Steve Jobs died in 2011 as a result of complications involving pancreatic cancer.
Apple is jokingly referred to as the company that makes the phone you have to sell one of your kidneys to buy. But this little move might just put all those remarks to rest, or blow them completely out of proportion like everything else on the net.
iOS 10 will be released this fall alongside the release of the iPhone 7.