Alumni and Donors

Premal Kamdar ’13 is Transforming Healthcare through Innovation

Premal Kamdar ’13 might have followed family tradition into the field of medicine. But this innovator saw a different set of possibilities in biomedical engineering, and in the power of technology to transform how illnesses are diagnosed, treated and monitored.

No one who knows Premal Kamdar ’13 would have been surprised to see him pursue a medical degree. With several doctors in the family, it seemed a likely path for a student who excelled in math and science. And Kamdar might well have taken that route – in high school he shadowed doctors in the community, and he made sure to complete the requirements for medical school – if it weren’t for his fascination with the intersection of math, science and the physiology of the human body.

Choosing Stevens was the easy part. “I wanted to stay close to home, and I wanted to be surrounded by people who are entrepreneurial,” he says. “The Stevens ecosystem supports the exchange of ideas.”

“At Stevens, I learned how to scale an idea for greater impact,” Kamdar continues. “I was able to go beyond the technology. I explored how to penetrate markets and developed an understanding of reimbursement models. It was exciting to realize that technology could be leveraged to address health challenges.”

Kamdar pursued that concept, participating in a Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s assessment program at Weill Cornell Medical College and conducted health outcomes research for the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group as part of the Stevens Healthcare Educational Partnership program. He was an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholar at Monmouth Medical Center as well.

“I really enjoyed the small school vibe at Stevens,” he says. “I helped found the Alpha Eta Mu Beta Honor Society and was active with the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society. I participated in the annual Unity Show, helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity in Phoenix, and even won the university’s table tennis tournament!”

“I especially liked that there were so many opportunities for students and faculty to connect outside of class,” Kamdar adds.

After earning his biomedical engineering degree from Stevens, Kamdar continued to pursue the partnership potential of healthcare and technology. In 2014, his start-up idea, a fitness app called myFit, earned semifinalist place in the Chapman University California Dreamin’ competition. Over the next few years, he furthered his expertise as a strategy consultant for digital health ventures spun out of Cambridge University and Imperial College London, as a senior business analyst at C1 Consulting, and as a digital health innovation consultant and collaborator at Princeton University.

Kamdar completed a master’s in bioscience enterprise, a biotech and business school curriculum developed in partnership with Harvard and MIT, at Cambridge University. In addition to winning the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute Hackathon, he completed the Digital Health Biodesign Innovation Fellowship, modeled on Stanford Biodesign, at Texas Medical Center.

“It is a highly competitive fellowship, with only a 1.3% acceptance rate,” he notes. “The program gave me firsthand exposure to the challenges faced by healthcare workers,” he says. “I watched surgeries, spent time in pediatric emergency rooms, and rode in ambulances. I was able to observe the unmet needs of patients in real time, which helped me become a better innovator.”

In 2020, he joined the Houston Angel Network as a life sciences/digital health venture associate. That year, he also joined Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) as an associate director focusing on digital health strategy and innovation.

By 2023, Kamdar was promoted to director of product management on the BMS Digital Health Team. “We are a start-up team within the company,” he explains. “Our goal is to transform clinical care – not just for research, but to change the way patients are diagnosed, treated and monitored. We want to explore where and how technology can impact patients’ quality of life.”

“Technology is getting better at capturing biometric data points,” he continues. “We can leverage that information to enable faster diagnosis and treatment, to improve patient outcomes while also reducing the cost of care. We can support doctors by providing them with deeper insight into their patients’ symptoms, while also empowering individuals to become more involved in their own wellness. The possibilities are enormous.”

Kamdar’s focus on the future includes building connections with the next generation of creative inventors. He is on the leadership committee of the New York group of CAMentrepreneurs, a Cambridge University alumni entrepreneurs network, and he mentors student entrepreneurs as part of a Slavin Family Foundation program.

Kamdar also inspires Stevens’ future entrepreneurs. From 2017 to 2022, he served as an entrepreneur in residence at the Stevens Venture Center, where he mentored tech-focused start-up teams building applications for mental health, PTSD, children with special needs, rheumatoid arthritis and melanoma. During those years he also founded, and ran, the university’s Digital Health Hackathon, where he secured more than 20 industry partners to support the initiative.

“We had participants as young as 16 working alongside retired executives,” he says. “There were computer science majors, biomed majors and members of the medical community working together on actual healthcare challenges proposed by our corporate sponsors. It was a fascinating way to give back to Stevens.”

“Several students volunteered their time to be part of it,” Kamdar adds. “And some have gone on to leadership roles in healthcare – a field they may never have considered before the hackathon. That’s why it’s so important to be open to new experiences. You never know how the dots will connect.”