Apple’s focus on health continues with a soon to be added option to register as an organ donor from the Health App in iOS 10.
It won’t improve the user’s personal health, but it will allow them to save lives. In most cases, the process occurs when a person dies, and vital organs are removed and kept viable for people waiting for necessary surgery, and pretty much any organ can be transplanted as of late.
The Health App will have the option to enroll as a button, reports Tim Hardwick from MacRumors. Tim Cook has said “…he hoped the new option would help ease a longstanding donor shortage, a problem that hit home when Steve Jobs endured an ‘excruciating’ wait for a liver transplant in March 2009,” writes Hardwick.
In Tennessee, there’s a shortage for organ donations, which has resulted in patients waiting too long for the necessary procedure. Holly Meyer and Holly Fletcher from The Tennessean state that “Each day 22 people die across the country while waiting for an organ. In 2015, 130 died from January to May this year.”
Hardwick’s article states “Apple’s mission has always been to create products that transform 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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Together with Donate Life America, we’re excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the US with iOS 10.”
Registering as a donor may seem like a no-brainer, but there may be multiple reasons a person would decide to forgo it. The most obvious reason is for religious purposes, as some believe that donating organs goes against their faith.
A study by the University of Geneva, cited in Wen’s article, suggests at least two factors are a lack of trust in the medical field and a lack of understanding of brain death. Wen also mentions a 2002 study examined the issue with brain death, signifying the trend of people unwilling to donate if they were ever to be brain dead, but their heart was still beating. Medical TV shows often use brain death as a topic and it’s common to hear that once the brain dies, there’s no hope of restoring function, effectively leaving a person dead.
A sad reality came from Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois, Brian Quick, who was quoted by Wen saying, “There are a lot of people who subscribe to the belief that if a doctor knows you are a registered donor, they won’t do everything they can to save your life.” Wen suggest that those medical TV shows might actually create mistrust with viewers if they portray bad doctors or donors who are mistreated, a significant concern with the medical community. “We found that heavy viewers of the show saw Grey’s Anatomy as realistic, meaning that they felt the images and the stories were realistic. And the more realistic they saw these stories, the more likely they were to buy into medical mistrust.”
Apple has stated that organ and tissue donation registration activated through the Health app will be sent to the National Donate Life Registry managed by Donate Life American, according to Hardwick. This will allow a faster way to register as a tissue and organ donor. It’s wonderful that Apple wants to make it easier to become a donor and everyone willing to, should take advantage of this life-saving feature.
What do you think about Apple’s seemingly strong dedication to health and fitness? Let us know in the comments!