Healthy Hearts: A New Metric System to Support Pediatric Heart Surgeons; Instant Replay Policies in Sports: Lagging Behind Advancements in Technology

Bullock, John, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Porter, Michael, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia
Rogers, Hannah, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The STS technical thesis and the STS research thesis are largely unrelated topics, but can be connected under the general umbrella of data science. The technical thesis is built around a Capstone project, and focuses on heart data to generate longitudinal studies. The research thesis was inspired by the author’s personal interest in sports science and statistics, and looks more at summary values and traditional statistical tests.
The technical thesis describes a Capstone project that deals with issues related to pediatric heart transplant data. There is a substantial need to increase donor heart utilization for children waiting for heart transplantation. Almost half of pediatric heart donors are discarded, despite a nearly 20% waitlist mortality. DonorNet is a system that the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) uses to match donors to a ranked order of recipients based on blood type, heart size, and urgency status of the recipient, among other factors. Doctors whose recipients have been matched to a donor have a limited time to view data on the donor’s heart condition, including medical history, vitals, laboratory testing, and radiological results, and decide whether or not to accept it. Due to the large amount of data associated with each donor heart, the lack of data-driven guidelines focusing on which factors most correlate with recipient survival, and the negative impacts that an unsuccessful transplant will have for the potential recipient and the transplant program, doctors simply do not have adequate recommendations on when to accept a heart. The Capstone team focused on developing longitudinal studies and other statistical tests for the client, a UVA pediatric surgeon, to find which data was most significant in determining the health of a donor’s heart.
The research thesis focuses on examining two sports leagues’ video replay policy, and recommends how these leagues can keep up with the rapidly changing video technology. Recent controversy in the NFL with penalty calls has forced the league to change their video replay review policy multiple times recently. The paper investigates these changes, and describes their impacts using models with frequency and expected points data. Secondly, the paper inspects recent cheating scandals in MLB, and deciphers whether competing teams gained or did not gain advantages by their interpretation of replay technology policies. The theory of technological momentum is applied in order to better understand how these regulations have contributed to instant replay development, and vice versa.
Despite the technical and research papers not having much in common, a new appreciation for data science and policymakers was certainly found in both. The technical thesis’ findings were practical data statistics that can help surgeons better understand heart health, and make quicker and more informed decisions. In the future, policies regarding whether or not a heart is not used may change based on new findings associated with heart health. As with the heart health project, the research thesis also finds that technology and society are intertwined. Policymakers must proactively release new strategies in their sports leagues in order to not fall behind the development of new technologies.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
data science for healthcare, pediatric cardiology, heart transplantation, video replay
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