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Apple will encourage organ donation with the looming release of iOS 10

apple ios 10 organ donation medicalid header
It’s not just the DMV anymore — Apple wants you to become an organ donor, too. On Tuesday, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant announced that iPhone users would be able to sign up to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor, all from the Health app. The change will be implemented with the release of iOS 10, which is slated to be available later this month. Thanks to a partnership between Apple and Donate Life America, with a few taps of your screen, you’ll be able to register as a donor, and as Apple says, carry that decision with you wherever you go.

Once an iPhone owner signs up through the Health app, the registration is submitted to the national Donate Life Registry, which is in turn managed by Donate Life America. “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,” said David Fleming, president and CEO of Donate Life America. “By working with Apple to bring the National Donate Life Registry to the Health app on iPhone, 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.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted the personal connection the company has to the issue, telling the Associated Press that the “excruciating” experience late Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs endured in 2009 was impetus enough for this new feature.  “Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing — it stuck with me and left an impression that I’ll never forget,” Cook told The Associated Press. Cook offered to donate part of his own liver to help his former boss, though the offer was ultimately refused.

“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Together with Donate Life America, we’re excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the U.S. with iOS 10.”

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