Apple has plans to give its users in the U.S. an opportunity to easily donate their organs. Apple announced on Tuesday that in the next iOS 10 update, the Health app will come with a simple sign-up form for the national donor organization.
The new feature will allow users to become organ, eye, and tissue donors with only a few taps. The feature will be available in the fall when iOS 10 is released as a full-fledged update to all users in the U.S. However, users registered for the public beta should get it sooner.
Registrations submitted by the users using the Health app in iOS 10 will be immediately sent to the National Donate Life Registry managed by Donate Life America.
David Fleming, the CEO of Donate Life America, said, "Younger Americans are not registering at the same rate as they have in the past."
Reportedly, an average of 22 people die every day without receiving an organ donation, and more than 120,000 are waiting for a transplant that could save their lives. Considering most youngsters are tech-savvy these days and almost everyone uses a phone, encouraging them to donate their organs using an easy-to-use pre-installed app like Health only makes more sense.
"By working with Apple to bring the National Donate Life Registry to the Health app on iPhone, we're making it easier for people to find out about organ, eye and tissue donation and quickly register. This is a huge step forward that will ultimately help save lives," added Fleming.
In a press statement, Jeff Williams, Apple's COO, said, "Apple's mission has always been to create products that transform people's lives. With the updated Health app, we're providing education and awareness about organ donation and making it easier than ever to register. It's a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives. Together with Donate Life America, we're excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the US with iOS 10."
The idea for the feature came to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, when his friend and the company's co-founder, the late Steve Jobs, had to go through an "excruciating" wait for a liver transplant in 2009. However, Jobs did return to work later after receiving a transplant. Back then, the Apple CEO had to register to receive an organ transplant in his hometown of Tennessee after doctors had highlighted that there is a huge waiting line for a liver in California.
Jobs had received the transplant in September 2009 reportedly from a person who died in a car crash and was identified to be in the mid-20s. Apparently, this car crash victim was registered to be an organ donor.
After receiving the liver and resuming work, Jobs said, "I am alive because of their generosity. I hope we all can be that generous."
It looks like Tim Cook is trying to help us achieve Jobs' wishes easily.
Cook told the Associated Press, "Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing — it stuck with me and left an impression that I'll never forget."
In fact, Cook offered to donate a part of his own liver back then, but Jobs had outright refused to take it. Jobs eventually died of complications from pancreatic cancer in 2011.
This is not the first time a tech company is working towards making organ donation easier. In fact, in 2012, Facebook had added a feature that allowed its users to display their status as registered donors. Even then, Donate Life had worked with Facebook on the project. In 2010, Jobs lobbied for a California law to encourage more Americans to register themselves as organ donors.
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