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article imageiPhone app to encourage Americans to become organ donors

By Lucky Malicay     Jul 6, 2016 in Technology
San Francisco - Apple has announced that the next version of iPhone software will carry a promotion for organ donation in the United States in a bid to help save lives.
The American technology giant said it partnered with Donate Live America to come up with a feature in the iPhone Health app that encourages people to become organ donors.
With the release of iOS 10, the feature will enable people wanting to donate tissue, organs or eyes to register with the nonprofit organization’s National Donate Life Registry.
“Through a simple sign up process, iPhone users can learn more and take action with just a few taps,” the California-based Apple and Donate Live America said in a joint statement.
“The ability to quickly and easily become a nationally-registered donor enables people to carry their decision with them wherever they go.”
According to the statement, more than 120,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting lifesaving transplants, and a patient is added to the list every 10 minutes.
David Fleming, president and CEO of Donate Life America, said an average of one American dies every hour waiting for an organ transplant as the demand far exceeds the available supply, adding a donor can save up to eight lives.
“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," Fleming said.
“This is a huge step forward that will ultimately help save lives.”
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said they are excited to deliver the new feature to iPhone users in the U.S. since it has been the company’s mission to create products that improve 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,” Williams said.
The iPhone Health app, which includes the Medical ID, presents a complete view of health and fitness data all in one place, making critical health information available in case of emergency to first responders.
Through the iOS 10, the Medical ID is adding the feature of organ donation promotion aside from the usual categories like the emergency contacts, medical conditions, blood type, allergies and medications.
Apple CEO Tim Cook hopes that the new software will help ease the organ donor shortage in the U.S., saying the problem hit home when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had to wait for a liver transplant in 2009.
"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.
Jobs did receive a liver transplant in 2009 but died in October 2011 after a long battle with cancer. He was 56.
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