The Cupertino-based tech giant announced that it is partnering with Donate Life America to offer iPhone users a way to opt in to the national organ donor registry. Apple said registration will take "just a few taps" from inside the updated Health app with the release of iOS 10, which is due to land later this year.
Apple's Health app, first launched in 2014, lets iOS users securely store personal information pertaining to their medical history, including blood type, known medical conditions, and allergies. The organ donation feature will be available in the Medical ID section inside the Health app.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Associated Press he hopes the new feature will encourage more people to consider organ donation and help ease the donor shortage in the U.S., where more than 120,000 currently wait for a life-saving organ transplant.
Cook cited his now famous encounter with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, in which Cook offered to donate part of his own liver to the legendary tech icon in 2009 -- an offer Jobs refused.
"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 AP.
Beyond the guise of altruism, however, Apple's organ donor initiative reflects the company's broader focus on user data and how it can be used within CareKit and ResearchKit. Apple has been promoting apps built on the CareKit and ResearchKit frameworks as data sources for physicians and the medical research community.