Apple is trying to make organ donation a simpler process.
The company said on Tuesday that its updated Health app, which will be available as part of iOS 10, will offer a new option that lets people sign up to be organ donors. The app's Medical ID feature, which already keeps track of your medical and health information, will include the ability to register as a donor of organs, eyes and tissues. Registrations sent in through your iPhone or iPad will be forwarded to the National Donate Life Registry, an organization managed by Donate Life America.
Introduced with iOS 8 in 2014, the Health app is Apple's way of helping you keep tabs on your own health and fitness, yet it's more than just about tracking your daily stats. Armed with a vast array of data, the app can prove time-consuming to use. Adding a feature that's quick and simple shows how the app can expand its usefulness without getting too complex.
To volunteer as an organ donor, you simply tap the registration button in the Health app, The Associated Press explained. That adds your status as a donor to an "emergency information" screen that can appear even when the phone is locked. Tapping another button brings up information on organ donation.
More than 120,000 Americans are currently waiting for a transplant, and every 10 minutes, a new person is added to that waiting list, according to Apple. The demand for organs far outweighs the supply, leading to the death of one person awaiting a transplant every hour in the US, Donate Life America President and CEO David Fleming said. One donor can save as many as eight lives, Fleming added.
The new feature is currently available in the developers beta of iOS 10 but will become more ubiquitous once the public beta of the new iOS version rolls out. iOS 10 will launch for all Apple mobile device users this fall.