Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced Tuesday that the launch of iOS 10 will come with a new feature in its Health app in collaboration with Donate Life America, which will allow users to sign up in an easy way to the National Donate Life Registry right from their iPhones.
The update aims to fight the medical shortage in organ donations and transplants. Over 120 million people in the United States have registered as organ donors. However, there are still more that 120,000 people currently waiting for a transplant, with a new person incorporated to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
“On average, one person dies every hour in the United States waiting for an organ transplant because the demand for lifesaving transplants far exceeds the available supply of organs — and one donor can save as many as eight lives,” said David Fleming, President & CEO of Donate Life America, according to Apple’s press release.
By supporting the new feature, Apple will help people to be informed about organ donations, encourage registrations and “ultimately help save lives,” Fleming added.
The idea came after the agonizing wait of Steve Jobs for a liver transplant
Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Associated Press that the traumatic experience he went through with his long-time friend and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, of waiting for an organ donor, made him notice the problem that exists around organ donation.
“Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing — it stuck with me and left an impression that I’ll never forget,” Cook told The Associated Press.
Jobs faced an “excruciating” wait for a liver transplant in 2009 and died two years later of pancreatic cancer. Cook even offered to donate part of his liver, but Jobs refused.
The iPhone Health app currently offers users a complete view of their health and fitness data, besides a personal Medical ID, which provides vital information on the user’s medical conditions, possible allergies, blood type, and more, and it is readily available in case of emergency. Cook hopes that the update of the app, with the addition of the sign-up button to the National Donate Life Register, will help reduce the donor shortage in the US.
“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, according to Apple’s press release.
With this move, Apple joins the list of tech companies that offers organ donation facilities and campaigns, like Google and Twitter. Facebook introduced in 2012 a feature that encourages organ donation by letting users share their donor status.
The iOS 10 will be launched with the new Health app feature in fall this year, although a beta version of the software will be available to the public later this month.
Source: The Washington Post