Will a new app attract more young people to become organ donors? Its makers hope so. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
The world’s first digital organ donor card was developed at the end of 2014 by Swisstransplant, the national organ donor and transplant foundation, and Jocelyn Corniche, an anaesthesiologist working at the University Hospital of Lausanne.
The digital version has been integrated in the current Echo112 smartphone app that can be used to request emergency services.
In the event of a fatal accident, medical personnel can access the patient’s digital donor card if they have this app on their smartphones. Through it they are then able to swiftly determine if and what organs are available for donation. To access the donor card on a locked phone, hospitals need to be equipped with a special device that uses Bluetooth to connect to the app once the patient arrives in the emergency room.
The app was especially developed to promote organ donation among young people.
The digital donor card has become even more important since the House of Representatives decided at the beginning of March against changing to a system of presumed consent. For the time being in Switzerland, organs can only be removed if the donor expressed willingness to donate before he died (for example, by filling out a donor card) or if the family members of the potential donor agree.