Jenny Lower

In 1996, Bill Clinton was President. “Macarena” was the number one song in the country (really). Meg Ryan was America’s sweetheart, and General Motors was the biggest US company. Spiked hair, flannel, and baggy jeans were all a thing.

That year, Independence Day was the top grossing movie, Braveheart won Best Picture, and George Clooney became a breakout star on the TV series ER. Jazz great Ella Fitzgerald died, and rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

The 1996 Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta. That fall, the Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves to win the World Series. In January, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at Super Bowl XXX.

Madeleine Albright was appointed the first female Secretary of State. The US hourly minimum wage was raised to $4.75. The Whitewater scandal rocked the White House, and the FBI arrested the Unabomber. TWA Flight 800 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 230 people.

In the UK, Prince Charles and Princess Diana got divorced, and Britain faced an outbreak of mad cow disease. Researchers in Scotland cloned Dolly the sheep.

Newly developed antiviral drugs slowed AIDS deaths. The first flip mobile phone, the Motorola StarTAC, appeared on the market. 36 million people were using the Internet—worldwide.

Back home, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act…and 24×7 published its first issue.

So much has changed in the world, and in healthcare, over the last 20 years. At 24×7, we are excited to have been part of it. This month, we celebrate two decades as the leading resource for the biomedical and clinical engineering communities. My deepest thanks goes to our readers for their enduring support and ongoing contributions to our pages. 

I also want to extend my gratitude to AAMI, AACE, ECRI Institute, and The Joint Commission, without whom this special issue wouldn’t have been possible.

Finally, I must recognize longtime editorial board member Dave Harrington, who has announced his decision to retire. His service to our magazine and the field at large will be keenly missed by many.

The biomedical profession is at a pivotal point in its history—but as this HTM timeline shows, this field has weathered plenty of ups and downs before. We look forward to sharing the journey for another 20 years!

Jenny Lower is chief editor of 24×7. Contact her at [email protected].