CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — Apple wants to encourage millions of iPhone owners to register as organ donors through a software update that will add an easy sign-up button to the health app that comes installed on every smartphone the company makes.
There are about 120,000 people on the national transplant list and 11,000 of them are in Northern California and parts of Nevada.
Donate Life hopes this number will drop after more people sign up on their phones.
Saving a life will soon be as easy as sending a text message.
Cathy Olmo, the communications director at Donor Network West said, “The fact that they are willing to put this out there and make this a cause that they believe in. It’s what we’ve been hoping for.”
After Apple releases its newest software update iPhone users will be able to sign up through the health app in the medical ID section.
After you’ve registered, your information gets put in Donate Life’s national database.
Olmo said, “With Donor Network West, the Bay Area’s organ recovery organization, says this could change the lives of 120,000 people currently on the transplant waiting list.
“We have all the medication, the physicians, the surgeries, the surgical techniques, transplant center. We just don’t have enough organs to transplant everyone,” Olmo said.
She said 22 Americans die every day waiting for transplants.
“As a mom you can only imagine it’s probably the most difficult moment of your life knowing that your kid is dying,” Olmo said.
Twenty-seven years ago, Olmo’s then 2-year-old daughter Kelly needed a liver transplant and was given a week to live.
“We really had to rely on the generosity of someone we didn’t know to say yes … 27 years later she’s engaged, she’s going to get married, she has a full life ahead of her because of the gift of organ transplant,” Olmo said.
Right now if you want to sign up to be an organ donor you have to do it through the DMV. But starting in the fall that all changes.
That’s when Apple will release its newest software update.
Apple isn’t the first tech giant to adopt this cause. Four years ago, Facebook added a feature for users to let people know if they are organ donors.