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Brief Published: 10 Mar 2020

MIT Reveals Top Breakthrough Technologies 2020


In their annual list of Breakthrough Technologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reveals the scientific innovations set to make an impact in the year ahead. We explore three concepts from the 2020 report.

  • Hyper-Personalised Medicine: Rather than relying on generally available drugs, patients of the future will be treated with bespoke, case-by-case medications. MIT points to a case reported at the end of 2019, where scientists were able to design an ultra-customised treatment for an individual patient’s rare genetic disease. Such tailored research is incredibly expensive, but as medical knowledge is on track to double every 73 days by 2020, it will continue to be explored. See Consumer of 2035: Wraparound Wellness and The Healthcare Opportunity for more on the future of bespoke medicine. 
  • Digital Money: Brands and governments are exploring the potential of digital currencies, considering the benefits such as instant transactions and borderless transfer-of-ownership that digi-versions of fiat currencies offer. 
    Electronics brands are also waking up to consumers’ interest in digital currencies – and especially cryptocurrencies. On March 4, Taiwanese company HTC announced its Exodus 5G Hub, an ultra-secure home router which also functions as a full Bitcoin node.
  • Climate Change Attribution: Research groups such as World Weather Attribution can now determine whether or not climate change plays a part in extreme weather phenomena such as storms, flooding and heatwaves. By clarifying contributing causes, business and consumers can better prepare for adverse weather conditions. See our Spotlight Trend Adapting to a Changing Climate for shrewd brands already providing protection from environmental extremes.