As they say, there’s an app for everything. But usually they’re talking about online dating, a game where a bird launches out of a slingshot, an app for weighing marijuana on your smartphone screen (because it’s always a good idea to leave trace residue of THC on your phone so the cops can find it), or some other oddly life-altering function.
But the applications that have launched in the last few years that monitor our health–especially ones that sync to wearables, which is projected to become a $34 billion a year industry by 2020–has taken the entire concept of smartphone convenience to a whole new level. Health and fitness-related apps have been credited with a whole new focus on physical and mental well-being, and a renewed interest in overall health.
Apple is now taking that focus to an even greater health purpose: organ donation.
With a new feature in its Health app, you can sign up for the crucial designation of organ donor, adding your name to the list of potential organs in a climate when there are simply not enough to go around. Why is this such an important feature? Apart from the fact that more patients than ever are waiting for organs–largely due to medical advances that are keeping patients alive long enough to even wait for one–the numbers of people getting driver’s licenses are dropping. In the US, the driver’s license is the indicator that you’re an organ donor; without that license and the checked designation, it’s up to the family members to decide whether or not you donate upon your death.
That’s a harsh task to leave to your loved ones, and in too many cases, the family defaults on the side of caution and refuses to sign over the organs.
Now, your information associated with your Apple ID will be added to the organ donation registry, meaning not only will you be signed up without having to do it at the DMV and your family won’t be left to make a difficult decision at the worst possible time, hospitals will have instant information on what to do if the worst happens to you.