Apple is going to encourage organ donation through the use of iPhones. The new software update will let users sign-up and complete their health information. It is going to be installed on each smartphone made by the company.
CEO Tim Cook hopes that the new app will help with the current donor shortage. He recalls when his former boss and friend, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs endured a long wait for liver transplant in 2009. It left an unforgettable impression on Cook. He was so concerned that he decided to offer to donate his own liver. Steve Jobs refused.
In 2011, Jobs died of complications from pancreatic cancer. This came two years after receiving a liver transplant in Tennessee, which apparently extended his life. He enrolled in a different state’s registry, after being warned that he wouldn’t live long enough to get a liver in California.
Now, donation lobbyists hope that the new method will appeal to young adults who use their smartphones for all sorts of online transactions.
More than 120,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ donation. 22 die daily without receiving a much-needed transplant.
Apple is going to add the option to register with Donate Life, a non-profit organization, by clicking a button within the iPhone’s Health app. It was first introduced in 2014 as a tool for recording health and fitness data. The software will be available this fall when the company releases the next update to the iOS operating system (iOS10).
Apple isn’t the first tech giant to accept organ donation. Facebook added an option for users to display their donor status, in 2012. Users could also share links to registries from their countries or states.
After Jobs had received the transplant, experts warned that most people couldn’t afford traveling outside their home state for a new organ. Jobs lobbied in 2010 for a law that encouraged more people to register within the state and gave a moving speech on the value of life.
Donate Life America is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing donations of organs. They say that one donation can save many lives. Every hour, a person dies in the US because the demand for life-saving transplants exceeds the available organs.