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Congratulations to Sean Zeller, MBA, MSPO, CPO, Director of UNC Health Prosthetics and Orthotics and Gregory Buckner, MSME, PhD, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State University on receiving the SOM Innovation Pilot Award for INSIGHT(Intelligent, Safe, In-home, Gravity Traction). Gravity halo traction is a treatment used to improve the outcomes of children with severe scoliosis, however it involves months in the hospital at significant cost. Current treatment approaches lack standardization and are inherently imprecise and prone to failure. INSIGHT will improve the safety and reliability of these systems while producing a system intended for use at home resulting in better care, lower costs, and children at home with their family and friends.

Innovation Pilot Awards

Each year, the Center for Health Innovation offers internal pilot funding to UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine employees for health care innovations across a broad spectrum of interest areas, such as:

  • Care delivery models
  • Health equity/disparity improvements
  • Technology development
  • Advanced analytics
  • Business models
  • Workforce development
  • Translational research


Center for Health Innovation

The UNC Center for Health Innovation is a small resource center that promotes the development of patient-centered innovations designed to address the current challenges facing our nation’s health care delivery system related to cost efficiency, quality of care, innovative health care delivery, and alignment of incentives among industry participants. One way The Center supports internal innovation is through the Innovation Pilot Awards program. Since the program’s inception, over $1.8M has been awarded to 41 teams.