An average of 22 people die each day waiting for transplants, according to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Getting more people to donate their organs is an urgent issue -- especially if you or someone you care about is on a waiting list -- and Apple is hoping to make it extremely easy for the nearly 100 million people in the U.S. who have an iPhone to become a donor.
This isn't the first time tech has helped increase organ donation awareness. Social media helped spread the word; a 2013 study reported people who noted they were organ donors on Facebook succeed in getting people in their network to register as well. Now, Apple plans on allowing users to register for organ donations through via the iOS Health app when a new update launches in the fall.
What Is Apple Health & How It Can Help In A Medical Emergency
While the iOS Health app is primarily used for its fitness features, it could also save your life in an emergency by displaying crucial medical information on your lock screen:
Once "Medical ID" is selected, the following screen appears:
This feature is available in the “Medical ID” section of the app, which is accessible through the bottom right corner:
By clicking the “Edit” button in the top right you can choose what options to list in the Emergency Call section of the lock screen. Along with organ donor status, you can also indicate your date of birth, any medical conditions or notes, allergies and reactions, medications, blood type, and other vital information:
Become A Donor With A Simple Click
Currently, Medical ID allows you to include your donor status, but Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to provide a simple and approachable way for everyone with a phone to become a donor. His interest in the issue draws back to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his struggle with finding an organ transplant while suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Apple’s compatibility with today’s society and widespread use is bound to make waves in organ donation once these features are publicly released. Until then, here’s how you can register as an organ donor in your state. To learn more about becoming an organ donor, take a look at this helpful guide: All You Need To Know About Being An Organ Donor.