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David Kiang: binding synergies between internet and healthcare

David Kiang | Transformational Leaders IE Business School

Hailing from Hong Kong, David Kiang went to college in the United States before attending IE Business School in Madrid, where his focus on entrepreneurship helped him gain an understanding of how “new ideas meet commercial applications.”

For the last seven years, David’s professional life has been dedicated to advancing digital health as the director of strategy development for Tencent, a multinational tech company. At Tencent, his primary responsibility is looking for new opportunities in the tech and healthcare space, an ecosystem that is barely a decade old. It has been made possible thanks to the advent of big data and AI in healthcare-system management and, particularly, the use of digital sensors in medical devices.

David relishes his position because, in addition to being at the forefront of disruptive technology in a field with a tremendous amount of room to grow, it allows him to “bind synergies between various roles in the China internet system, as well as the healthcare system.” 

After several years of experience working in the medical device industry on cancer-screening initiatives, David has experienced firsthand how much diagnostic efficiency has improved since it was first implemented in China about ten years ago. Nowadays, harnessing the power of technology has not only enhanced diagnostic techniques, but made processes more widely available. Through the research and strategies that he has worked on, David played a key part in an initiative that has saved thousands of lives.

Another recent example of the link between tech-enabled efficiency and increased survival rates can be found in the international clinical trials that have been conducted for COVID-19 vaccines. According to David, the emergent-tech information systems connecting different clinical sites around the world was what made the speed and large scale of these trials possible. In the science itself, the AI behind the sequencing and the molecular modeling technologies was crucial to vaccine development. This is a running theme in David’s work too, where improving efficiency has allowed David to help people have a healthier life.

Working at the top of a field of such global importance has inevitably taken David to different parts of the world. Beyond his projects in China, his career has also been based in the US, Chile and Spain. Professionally, the impact has been invaluable. Whilst challenging him to learn and grow, David has cultivated a perspective that appreciates the diversity of healthcare challenges that exist across the world, but also sees that some issues have universal relevance. Plus, his international career has brought a sense of personal fulfilment:

“On a personal level, [working around the world] really got me to understand a lot of different cultures, and I made friends from different countries. And of course, making friends always helps not only on the professional level, but also when, for example, I go for a vacation.”

Looking back on his International MBA, David believes that studying at IE Business School in Madrid was critical for developing his entrepreneurial mindset. Mostly, his experience taught him to think outside the “this should be like that” type of box.

“A huge takeaway from my experience at IE Business School was learning to deduce things using basic principles. I really came to realize that my particular way of doing things isn’t the only way—there are lots of different ways people approach things and these ways work, too. Being able to empathize with people with different perspectives and backgrounds is a spurt of growth that I experienced with the International MBA.”

While David has always been ambitious in his professional endeavors, his main advice for future International MBA students is to avoid worrying about careers when studying. Given that the program has so much to offer participants, David thinks it’s important to try and live in the moment.

“Spend more time with everything you get exposed to; spend more time hanging out with the friends you make; learn from your classes and spend time with your teachers. If I were to do it again, I’d spend less time preparing for my post-MBA career, and be totally immersed in life at IE Business School.”

To celebrate the 50th intake of the International MBA at IE Business School, we’re sharing stories from our impressive alumni. This impactful leader is just one of the stand-out International MBA alumni who have passed through the doors of IE Business School. To read even more inspiring stories from graduates of the International MBA, and to learn more about the program, click here.