More than 120,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. On average, twenty-two people die a day without one. Apple is hoping to reduce this number by adding a organ donor signup button within its Health information app that comes installed on every iPhone. The button is being introduced in collaboration with Donate Life, a non-profit national organization committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation.
The app update will be introduced this week to software developers who have requested early access to iOS 10. It will be available on all iPhones this autumn when iOS 10 is released to the general public. Another new button will link to information about organ donation. An iPhone user’s donor status will also be added to the optional "emergency information" display that can be seen when a phone is locked.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was greatly influenced by watching his friend and former-boss Steve Jobs wait for his own transplant while battling pancreatic cancer. Cook had even offered to donate part of his liver to Jobs. He explained, “Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing — it stuck with me and left an impression that I'll never forget.”
Jobs eventually received a liver transplant in 2009. He had enrolled in the state of Tennessee’s donor program after his doctors told him that he would not live long enough to receive a transplant in his home state of California. Jobs eventually died of complications from pancreatic cancer in 2011.
Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams remarked, "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."
If you are interesting in becoming an organ donor through Donate Life, please click here.