Apple is partnering with Donate Life America to offer U.S. iPhone users an easy way to opt into the organ donor registry as part of the company’s iOS update coming later this year.
The Cupertino company officially unveiled iOS 10 at its annual WWDC developer conference last month, but it made no mention of plans to encourage users to become organ donors. The new mobile operating system update is expected to land sometime this fall, at which time users will be able to click a button within the updated Apple Health app to join the organ donor registry.
Apple CEO Tim Cook cited Steve Jobs’ “excruciating” wait for a liver transplant back in 2009 as one of the motivating factors for introducing this new feature, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The move comes shortly after the U.S. government vowed to reduce waiting times for organ transplants, noting that a person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes, while 22 people die waiting every day.
At the time of the U.S. government’s announcement, a number of tech companies revealed initiatives to support the cause. Those include Tinder, which said it would launch a donor registration campaign involving “swiping right” to register. And Twitter made a commitment to enabling organ donation registration using a specific hashtag on the social network.
“Apple’s mission has always been to create products that transform people’s lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “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.”
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