Personal Health Assistant: A Bridge to Digital Healthcare; An Examination of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) System in Soccer: Societal Implications

Crow, Martin, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Morrison, Briana, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

In the effort of advancing technology with both healthcare and sports, the Capstone project on the "Personal Health Assistant" (PHA) app and the STS research paper on the "Video Assistant Referee (VAR) System in Soccer" examine how digital innovations can significantly influence and transform personal health management and the game of soccer. These projects both highlight the potential of technology to enhance human experiences in personal and global domains. This synthesis aims to explain the relationship between these seemingly distinct projects, highlighting the universal impact of technological advancements on user experience and societal norms.
The exploration into the PHA app and the examination of the VAR system embody the shared vision of utilizing technology to optimize and redefine the user experience within their respective fields. The connection between the two projects is found in their common goal of leveraging technology to improve decision-making processes and outcomes. For the PHA app it is seen in personal health management and for VAR, adherence to fairness and authority in the competitive world of soccer. Both are motivated by the drive to integrate technological innovations in a way that enhances human engagement and societal values.
Our ever-changing, fast-paced society requires more streamlined health management tools and applications. The "Personal Health Assistant" app aims to solve this issue through multiple comprehensive health management solutions. To streamline the health management tool, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and developmental strategies were incorporated. The personalized health and well-being app is tailored to the end-user’s unique needs, incorporating sensor data for real-time monitoring with improved adherence to health professionals’ standards and recommendations. Anticipated outcomes include better health results and a more intuitive health management experience for users. Future work would involve integration of telemedicine features, expansion of the health conditions database and collaboration with wearable health tech devices, reinventing what personal health looks like.
The STS research conveys the integration of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system into the game of soccer and its consequential societal impact. This study explores how VAR influences perceptions of fairness, authority, and engagement in the sport, thus answering the question, how does the implementation of VAR in soccer impact society as a whole? The Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) framework is utilized to answer the previous question. This examines the mutual shaping of society and technology, highlighting the complexity of technology among different social groups. Through a combination of semi-structured interviews and document analysis, this study expects to find that VAR's introduction has led to varied levels of acceptance and resistance among stakeholders, reflecting broader societal debates about the role of technology in mediating real-time human interactions. The aim of this piece is to contribute to the field of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) by providing insights into how technological interventions in sports serve as catalysts for discussions on fairness, authority, and the human aspect of technological adoption. The significance lies in its potential to inform future advancements in sports, ensuring technology enhances the game while maintaining traditional values and the communal experience of its growing global fanbase.
Working on the "Personal Health Assistant" app and the Video Assistant Referee system simultaneously has been very insightful into the influence of technology across diverse aspects of life, highlighting the shared challenges in integrating digital innovations into the already established, human-centric fields such as healthcare and sports. This dual exploration has enhanced my understanding of the intricate technical and ethical considerations involved in deploying new technologies. There is critical importance of aligning these innovations with societal values, ethical frameworks, and the varied needs of users. These innovations have drawn attention to the necessity of bridging the gap between technological possibilities and societal expectations, ensuring that innovation serves as a tool for enhancing their domains.
This synthesis reveals the overarching theme that emerges from both papers: the potential of technology to significantly improve personal well-being and fairness, balanced with the necessity to carefully navigate its integration into societal norms and human experiences. The PHA app and the VAR system exemplify the role of technology in modern society, its capacity to empower and its challenges in being parallel with human values. These explorations highlight the dynamic negotiation between innovation and tradition. Through the research of these papers, the transformative power of technology has been witnessed to not only solve complex problems but also to challenge and redefine our perceptions of fairness, health, and the potential for societal advancement.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
VAR Technology System, Social Construction of Technology, Soccer

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Briana Morrison

STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook

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