“Tech is the tool, not the objective” – Interview with Smart Ageing Prize Judge, Jose Usero
Jose Usero, one of our Smart Ageing Prize judges, is an expert in digital transformation. His work particularly focuses on the ageing and accessibility sectors and he has one objective for everything that he dedicates his time to:
“To make the world a better place to live.”
From early in his career he sought to improve people’s lives and specialised in ICT for organisational development. In 2005, he completed his PhD dissertation on interoperability technologies for government services, which still play an active role in the digital transformation of public government and healthcare. For Jose, “ICT is the tool, not the objective. People are the important things.” He advocates strongly for the employment of ICT as a tool to improve the lives of those who normally cannot benefit from advances in technology.
Tech for good
During his career, Jose has gained a lot of knowledge in the planning and development of e-government services. He has supported in redesigning city council websites as well as in the management of the usability and accessibility of scientific vertical portals – knowledge which he has passed on to his students as a lecturer on information systems, multimedia productions and web applications.
In 2007, Jose became the scientific coordinator for a research project to develop new accessible technologies. It was the largest project on accessibility that has been funded in Spain. He later became the director for EU projects and was responsible for coordinating studies on eAccessibility and managing relationships with international organisations in the eInclusion sector.
Improving the active and healthy ageing sector
Since 2013, Jose has been responsible for European projects at Funka, a market leader in Sweden on digital accessibility. They aim to improve the accessibility of digital interfaces, encouraging participation and inclusion for people who are at risk of societal exclusion.
At Funka, Jose has a variety of responsibilities, but his work lies mainly in research and innovation of accessibility to active and healthy ageing. Jose believes that “technology is only important when it can improve the quality of life of ageing people. We need to accept that technology is not the solution to everything.” As the world becomes increasingly technological, it is crucial that we consult the communities these tools seek to help, ensuring that their wishes and their needs are always put first.
Jose is involved in an extensive amount of research, innovation and policy initiatives around digital transformation of health and care and understands the importance of bringing older adults into the conversation. He has mastered a proven way of communication on both a national and international scale to ensure the inclusion of older stakeholders in digital transformation, giving them an active role in decision making to shape research and innovation priorities.
With comprehensive knowledge of digital technology and experience in research and innovation, Jose has a keen sense for projects that can be put into practice to have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of older adults. He is a true asset to the Smart Ageing Prize judging panel!