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IMU Pharmacy Alumnus is Founder of Online Digital Women’s Healthcare Platform

11 Apr 2023

My name is David Ong and I am the founder of an online digital women’s healthcare platform called Dear Kyra. I have been working as a community pharmacist for the past 3 years and I am currently a full-time Medical Science Liaison (MSL) under Docquity.


I have always been fascinated by the healthcare field, and pharmacy stood out to me as an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

As I grew up, I was fortunate enough to witness first-hand the role that pharmacists play in patient care and medication management. I was impressed by the pharmacists’ knowledge and expertise, their ability to counsel patients, and their commitment to ensuring that patients receive the best possible care. It has inspired me to pursue a degree in pharmacy and become a pharmacist, so I could make a difference in people’s lives by helping them manage their medications safely and effectively.

There were multiple factors that influenced my decision to choose IMU. Firstly, the academic reputation of this university is outstanding, and I felt that studying here would provide me with the best platform to achieve my academic goals. Besides, the curriculum offered by IMU aligned with my interests, and I was impressed by the faculty and their expertise in their respective fields. Moreover, the campus facilities and resources provided by the university were excellent, which would help me to explore opportunities beyond the classroom, and this further solidified my decision to enrol here.

My Experience Studying the Bachelor of Pharmacy at IMU
The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) (BPharm) curriculum in IMU is designed to equip students with a broad range of skills and knowledge to excel in various pharmacy settings. Throughout my degree, I gained a deep understanding of pharmacology, drug therapy, patient care, and medication management, all of which are essential skills for a pharmacist in a community or hospital setting.


BPharm curriculum in IMU focused on developing communication skills and interpersonal skills, which are critical for building relationships with patients and healthcare professionals. In addition to traditional teaching methods such as lectures, tutorials, and workshops, IMU utilises innovative teaching strategies to enhance students’ learning experiences. These methods include Problem-Based Learning (PBL) using small group discussions, industrial/clinical visits, practical sessions, and Pharmacy Skill Development (PSD) utilising simulated patients from Year 1.


PBL provides students with the opportunity to work collaboratively to solve real-world problems, enhancing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Industrial/clinical visits provide students with a practical understanding of the pharmacy profession and its various settings. Practical sessions allow students to apply theoretical knowledge in a hands-on, interactive setting, while PSD using simulated patients promotes the development of communication and counselling skills. These unique teaching methods not only enhance students’ knowledge and skills but also equip them with the necessary competencies to excel and to gain hands-on experience and exposure to different aspects of the pharmacy profession.


Furthermore, the curriculum emphasised the importance of lifelong learning and staying up-to-date with the latest advances in the field, which has prepared me to adapt to the constantly evolving pharmaceutical industry. Overall, I believe that the unique combination of theoretical and practical experiences offered by BPharm in IMU has prepared me to be a well-rounded pharmacist, capable of thriving in various pharmacy settings.


I am extremely grateful for the exceptional education and training I have received at IMU, which has provided me with a solid foundation for both my career and entrepreneurial endeavours. Through this programme, I have learned the importance of working collaboratively with others and striving for excellence in all that I do. I am deeply appreciative of the faculty who have supported me in my academic journey and inspired me to pursue my goals with enthusiasm and dedication. Thanks to the comprehensive curriculum, I have developed a deep appreciation for the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement, which have helped me to become a well-rounded and adaptable individual capable of navigating the challenges of the modern business world.


To sum it all up, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to IMU, especially my fellow lecturers in the faculty of BPharm (Hons), for equipping me with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to succeed in my career and personal pursuits.

I started getting involved in entrepreneurship with Dear Kyra, a digital health startup focused on improving women’s health by making sexual and reproductive healthcare services more accessible. As for Dear Kyra, it all started when I previously worked in a community pharmacy and I came across a growing problem in the community where many women were having difficulty accessing the healthcare services that they needed. I realised that there were a number of barriers that were preventing women from getting the care that they needed.


All these have led me venturing into digital health specifically on women’s sexual and reproductive health. For me, the mission is always pretty simple, to provide a platform when women can feel comfortable bringing up these issues, get the help that they need, be empowered to take control and make well informed choices with their bodies.

For Dear Kyra, we want to redefine women’s healthcare experience and look at it through the perspective of a more modern and user centric approach, providing levels of access to certain healthcare categories that we feel are really needed in Malaysia – making it easy for everyone, regardless of circumstance to access sexual and reproductive healthcare services effortlessly.

Our startup has already developed several innovative solutions and a telehealth platform that connects women with healthcare providers remotely. We are best known for providing online access and on-demand delivery for birth control and STD services. Dear Kyra was selected by the Penang Start-Up Accelerator Program 2022 and is currently undergoing capital fundraising with Vincaps Capital. Lately, the startup has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Medical University (IMU) to collaborate on Education & Training, Research & Development and Community Engagement in the field of digital health.


Being a founder of a startup is not an easy journey, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have in their life.

The job scope of a founder is varied and challenging, but with perseverance and determination, it can be a fulfilling and inspiring journey. It all begins with an idea, a spark that ignites your passion and fuels your ambition. You start researching and planning, looking for the right team members, and pitching your concept to potential investors. You spend countless hours refining your business plan, building your brand, and creating a product that meets the needs of your target audience.

As a founder, you wear many hats. You are the visionary, the strategist, the marketer, the salesman, and the problem solver. You need to have a broad range of skills and be willing to learn quickly. You also need to be able to handle rejection, setbacks, and failures, as they are inevitable in the startup world.

The job scope of a founder also includes building a team and a culture that embodies your values and vision. You need to find the right people who share your passion and have the skills to help your company grow. You need to create a positive and supportive work environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and collaboration. As a founder, you are also responsible for managing the finances of your company and to make sure you have enough capital to fund your business and ensure it grows sustainably. You need to make sound financial decisions, plan for the future, and adapt to changing market conditions.

In summary, being a founder of a startup is a challenging yet rewarding journey. It requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. However, it is also an opportunity to create something truly meaningful, make a positive impact on the world, and build a company that reflects your values and vision. So if you have an idea that you are passionate about, don’t be afraid to take the leap and start your own startup. The journey may be tough, but the rewards are worth it.

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