In the latest version of the Health app, expected to roll out this fall with the new iPhone 7, users can now add themselves as organ donors. Using the new Medical ID feature users can add themselves to the National Donate Life Registry, managed by Donate Life America. The Medical ID feature within the Health app already allows users to input their birth date, height, blood type, as well as allergy information that is available on the iPhone lock screen in case of emergency. Apple notes that 120,000 Americans are currently waiting for a new organ, and hopes that by making it easier to register, this number can decrease drastically.
“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,” says Donate Life CEO David Fleming.
The initiative first came about during Steve Jobs’ uneasy wait for a liver transplant. This put a spotlight on the transplant process and the length of time that many Americans wait for a transplant. During this time Mark Zuckerberg was also inspired to add a feature to Facebook which allows users to sign up as an organ donor on their timeline (available since about 2012).
Apple chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, explains the updated Health application will provide education about organ donation while making it extremely easy to register. “It’s a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives.”- Jeff Williams
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