Apple Wants to Let You Become an Organ Donor With a New iPhone Feature

By Sophie Kleeman on at

Apple plans to add a new feature to its Health app that will allow users in the US to easily sign up with a national organ donor registry, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The option will come in the form of a software update for iOS 10, which is set for release this autumn. Though the company initially introduced iOS 10 during this year’s WWDC conference, the organ donation option has thus far stayed under wraps. It’s unclear if it was planned all along, or whether it was a late addition.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the opt-in feature, which will be accessible by tapping a button within the built-in app, was prompted in part by Steve Jobs’s own “excruciating” wait for a liver transplant.

According to the Obama administration, 22 people in the States die every day waiting for an organ transplant, and a new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. In May, the White House announced a new initiative to help those in need of organs, which included expanding efforts to reach potential donors. Companies like Google, Twitter, Tinder, and Facebook were included as partners, though Apple didn’t appear on the list.

Currently, those residing in the US who are interested in becoming organ donors can do so by registering with their state registry or checking the option on their driving licence registration. But considering the ubiquity of iPhones, the software update will likely make the process slightly easier. [Associated Press]