Healthcare education startup FuturU has appointed Michaela Usakova as its first VP of product.

Usakova joins FuturU from Goodwall, a skills-based social network for students and graduates, where she was chief product officer for almost three years.

Launched in May 2023, FuturU is on a mission to disrupt the healthcare education space by offering free online training to nurses and care workers globally.

The tech startup, which now employs 50 people in the UK, uses AI to bring down the cost of training and create immersive learning experiences that mirror on-the-job training.

As FuturU’s first VP of product, Usakova will be responsible for defining and executing the company’s long-term product strategy and roadmap.

This will involve comprehensive user testing and research with healthcare professionals, care providers and NHS Trusts, to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers they face when it comes to learning and development.

Usakova has more than a decade’s experience working in tech, starting out in product manager roles at Electronic Arts (EA) and Microsoft.

More recently, she has worked for and advised high-growth startups in the gaming and education sectors, including Goodwall and Memrise.

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During her time as chief product officer at language learning app Memrise, the company won Best App of Google Play Award 2017 and secured a spot in Apple’s Top 10 Best of Appstore 2016.

Usakova is the latest hire to join the company’s leadership team and will report to CEO Michael Manuccia.

Michael Manuccia, CEO at FuturU, said: “Michaela’s strong experience in the learning and gaming sectors, coupled with her global mindset and passion for our mission, will be invaluable in helping FuturU reinvent healthcare education for millions of professionals worldwide.

“The challenges we’re solving are hard, so we need ambitious thinkers who can push us to be bold and unapologetic in our vision for the future.”

Commenting on her new role Usakova said: “FuturU’s intense focus on technological innovation really appeals to me. I love that we’re bringing something completely new to the market and not afraid to experiment with cutting-edge technology.

“I’ve lived in countries all over the world facing similar challenges with their healthcare system and have family members who have worked in the field, so it’s exciting to work for a company that has so much potential to do good in the world.”

Since launching in May 2023, FuturU’s free training courses have been accessed by more than 70,000 healthcare professionals worldwide.

The startup has received backing from private healthcare investors, and plans to generate revenue through partnerships with care providers and NHS Trusts.

FuturU is made up of UK-based educators, trainers, software engineers, product managers, content developers and assessors, and is used by more than 70,000 healthcare professionals in over 20 countries worldwide.

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