For the first time ever, iPhone users will be able to sign up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor from the Health app on their smartphone.
This is thanks to a collaboration between Apple and Donate Life America – and the development comes with the release of iOS 10.
A simple sign up process is all that is required for iPhone users to learn more and take action. Any registrations submitted from such a device are sent directly to the National Donate Life Registry managed by Donate Life America.
People will be able to carry their decision with them wherever they go as a direct result of the ability to quickly and easily become a nationally-registered donor through a smartphone in this manner.
The iPhone's Health app offers a complete view of the user's health and fitness data all in one place. Its features include Medical ID, which makes critical health information available to first responders in case of emergency. It is accessible from the iPhone lock screen for this reason.
Categories such as medical conditions, allergies, medications, blood type and emergency contacts can all be displayed by Medical ID.
With iOS 10, the app now offers the ability to register as donor in the US – and the feature could yet be rolled out in other countries.
The potential benefits of this measure cannot be overstated. In the US alone, more than 120,000 citizens are currently on a waiting list for a lifesaving transplant. A new person is added to the national transplant waiting list on average every ten minutes.
As many as eight lives can be saved by one organ donor – and more can be healed through tissue and eye donation. Families are left to make a sudden and possibly unexpected decision about donation when a loved one dies in the absence of any donor registration, which is one of the reasons why it is an important matter.
Chief operating officer at Apple Jeff Williams said collaborating with health services on this issue is consistent with his organisation's philosophy.
“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,” he commented.
“Together with Donate Life America, we’re excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the US with iOS 10.”
President and chief executive of Donate Life America David Fleming welcomed the new iPhone feature, as the waiting list for an organ transplant exceeds the available supply of organs.
“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,” he remarked.