iPhone in hand

Tech Report

By: Nick Gambino

With the soon-to-be released iOS 10 we’ll see Apple getting in on the organ donor game. And no, we don’t mean some Mad Max/Repo Men harvesting of organs from the living.

Apple Watch on person's arm.Instead this is a more noble (and plausible) scenario. iOS 10 will include an update to the iPhone resident Health app which will allow users to register as organ donors with Donate Life America where the registrations are then transferred over to the National Donate Life Registry.

This will cover organ, eye and tissue donation and will be part of the Medical ID feature that already exists in the app. This feature keeps track of all your health and medical info.

ios10 donateThe new Health app will include a sign-up button where all you have to do is tap it to register. Simple. Once you tap the button and have gone through a quick sign-up process you’re added as a registered donor. This info will appear on your emergency information screen that pops up even when your iPhone is locked.

According to President and CEO of Donate Life America as shared in the Apple Press Release, “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.”
The press release goes on to describe how 120,000 Americans are waiting for a transplant that could save their life with a new person added to the list every 10 minutes. There’s an average of 22 people dying every day who never received the organ they needed. Apple COO, Jeff Williams expanded on this new update, “With the updated Health app, we’re providing education and awareness about organ donation and making it easier than ever to register.”

iPhone 6 laying face downThe urgent need for organ donations that could save lives became more evident when it struck a personal chord with Apple CEO, Tim Cook. Referring to Steve Jobs’ wait for a liver transplant in 2009 he explained to the Associated Press, “Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing – it stuck with me and left an impression that I’ll never forget.”

This new feature will be available in the beta version of iOS 10 released just this week. The rest of us will have to wait until the full version is released this fall.

Let us know your thoughts on the new organ donor registration available in the Health App in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.


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