Innovate for Good: Health Informatics student Rudra Nagalia’s mission to transform healthcare technology

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Rudra Nagalia
Rudra Nagalia

Rudra Nagalia's journey to healthcare technology cemented his passion for improving healthcare outcomes through technology. While studying for his Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, Nagalia's entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found a startup in 2019, during his undergraduate years, providing him with valuable insights into product development and entrepreneurship. 

However, it was Nagalia's experience as an international exchange student at George Mason University that altered his course significantly. During this time, he actively contributed to developing the initial prototype for the Remind-H app while interning at Mason in 2021. This pivotal experience ultimately influenced his decision to return to Mason to pursue his degree and delve deeper into this research focus.  

“Enrolling in the Masters in Healthcare Informatics program was truly life-changing for me,” Nagalia said. 

Throughout his studies, he served as a Pathways and Partnerships Assistant at the College of Science, and later as a Graduate Research Assistant at the College of Public Health (formerly Health and Human Services), contributing significantly to the development of the Remind-H app—a bio-behavioral monitoring and recovery system led by Professor of Mathematical Sciences Padhu Seshaiyer and Professor of Social Work Holly Matto.Top of Form 

“My primary inspiration to get involved in the project was the novelty of the idea of creating personalized mental health experiences supported by physiological data, processed by machine learning models. I was determined to expand my existing skills in tech, particularly in mobile app and backend systems development, and apply them to the healthcare data domain, as exemplified by the Remind-H project. Despite facing the obstacles of transitioning from an engineering background to a healthcare research-oriented setting, I remained determined to pursue this path,” said Nagalia.  

His background in product development and entrepreneurship, coupled with his proactive approach, helped him secure his position on the app's development team. His initial role in the project included a detailed UI/UX (user interface/user experience) design process, where he meticulously crafted the first version of the app for Android. As his understanding of the Remind-H project deepened, Nagalia recognized its potential to address specific healthcare challenges, particularly in mental health.  

“The Remind-H hypothesis is driven by the concept of ‘prevention instead of cure,’ which is why it finds its original motivation in helping monitor personal health outcomes for users at risk of relapse from addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.,” Nagalia said. 

In addition to his work on Remind-H, Nagalia immersed himself in other research projects, such as game-based biofeedback for student stress, further underscoring his dedication to leveraging technology for holistic healthcare solutions. 

Looking ahead, Nagalia who is graduating in Spring 2024, is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry post-graduation.  

"With a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics, focusing on healthcare research and analytics, I aspire to bridge the gap between diverse healthcare needs and technical solutions. Coming from a background in product engineering and business analytics, my research experience in digital health ignited my interest in the science behind the subject. Moreover, the chance to merge scientific insight with creativity through product development motivated me to focus on Health Informatics, enhancing my expertise in healthcare data and deepening my understanding of the industry," said Nagalia. 

His track record of navigating the full product development lifecycle, combined with his passion for innovation, positions him as a formidable force in driving real-world change through technology.  

Innovate for Good is an ongoing series that examines how Mason faculty in the College of Public Health are harnessing technology to improve health outcomes. If you have stories to share as part of the Innovate for Good series, email Mary Cunningham at