Apple to Allow Organ Donors to Sign Up on Health App

July 5, 2016 Updated: July 7, 2016

If you haven’t signed up to be an organ donor at the DMV, you will still be able to do so—on your iPhone.

Apple will let iPhone users sign up to be organ, eye, and tissue donors through its health app when it releases iOS 10 in the fall, the company announced on July 5. 

For the new feature, the tech giant is partnering with Donate Life America, a nonprofit committed to increasing donation rates.

The partnership attempts to help the 120,000 Americans currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list.

“On average, one person dies every hour in the United States waiting for an organ transplant because the demand for lifesaving transplants far exceeds the available supply of organs—and one donor can save as many as eight lives,” said David Fleming, president & CEO of Donate Life America in a statement.

“This is a huge step forward that will ultimately help save lives,” he added.

The process of signing up through the app will be simple, Apple says, and the registrations will be sent directly to the National Donate Life Registry and managed by Donate Life America.

“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

“It’s a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives,” Williams added.

FILE - This July 16, 2010, file photo shows Apple's Tim Cook, left, and Steve Jobs, right, during a meeting at Apple in Cupertino, Calif. 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 information app that comes installed on every smartphone the company makes. CEO Cook says he hopes the new software, set for limited release in early July 2016, will help ease a critical and longstanding donor shortage. He said the problem hit home when his friend and former boss, Apple co-founder Jobs, endured an
Apple’s Tim Cook, left, and Steve Jobs, right, in Cupertino, Calif., July 16, 2010. Apple wants to encourage millions of iPhone owners to register as organ donors through the health information app. CEO Cook said the problem hit home when Apple co-founder Jobs, endured an “excruciating” wait for a liver transplant. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

The donor enrolling feature is important to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said the problem of long waiting lists hit home when his friend and former boss, co-founder Steve Jobs, underwent an “excruciating” wait for a liver transplant in 2009.

“Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing—it stuck with me and left an impression that I’ll never forget,” Cook told The Associated Press.

He was so worried for Jobs that he offered to donate part of his own liver, but Jobs refused.

Jobs, the Apple co-founder, died in 2011 from pancreatic cancer. He had received a liver transplant two years before his death in Tennessee after doctors warned him about the long waiting list in California, and said he wouldn’t live long enough to get one in his home state. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.