When Apple announced the ResearchKit last year, the company’s senior vice president of Operations, Jeff Williams, was quoted saying that the platform’s main goal is to give the scientific community the “access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before.”
It was not an exaggeration. Millions of people around the world use Apple’s iOS, so it is safe to say that the scope of the ResearchKit data is relevant and useful to many fields in the medicinal science.
Later that year, the smartphone giant announced that the platform was updated to support better studies and data collection for research in Autism, Epilepsy & Melanoma. And just in March of this year, Apple rolled out the ResearchKit update to support genetic data for Postpartum Depression, Asthma & Cardiovascular Disease.
But Apple isn’t stopping there; with its upcoming software release, the iOS 10, which is unarguably the get-go mobile operating system of the next iPhone, the iPhone 7, users will have an easier access to organ donation.
But the said update isn’t only for the advancement of ResearchKit. As reported by The Associated Press via the WIAT, the importance of organ donation is close to the heart of the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, who saw how his former boss and friend, Steve Jobs, endured an ‘excruciating’ wait for a liver transplant in 2009. As you may already know, Jobs died of cancer in 2011, two years after receiving a liver transplant which was credited with extending his life.
Alongside other updates, such as UI refinements, the new organ donation window is located in the platform’s Health application.
“A single organ donor can save as many as eight lives,” says Apple on the feature’s welcome display. “That’s why Apple made it easy to sign up with Donate Life America’s organ donation registry.”
A big box saying “sign up” is on the bottom part of the screen, in addition, a link for current donors.
Early adopters of the iOS 10 Beta 2 public build have confirmed that the organ donation page is already in place.
The iOS 10 is expected to arrive by end of the third quarter, or early fourth quarter of this year, at the same time with the release of the new iPhones. It is worth noting that some older and current iPhones (and iPads) will also receive the update, for instance, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6S.
Organ Donation in America
Organ donation in the United States, according to the Department of Health & Human services, is described as “in need” meaning more donors are needed to save more lives.
Each day, says the department, an average of seventy-nine people receive organ transplants. However, “an average of 22 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs.” In 2014, twenty-nine thousand five hundred and thirty-two people have received organ transplants.