Emergency Medical Hologram

Emergency Medical Holographic Program
Biographical Information

Male (Mk I-VIII), Female (Mk IX)


2371 (Mark I)

Physical Description
Political Information

United Federation of Planets Starfleet


Diagnostic and Surgical Subroutine Omega-323

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"There's nothing out there; absolutely nothing."

"Well it's a damn ugly nothing."

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The Emergency Medical Hologram, or EMH is a sophisticated holographic program used upon Starfleet starships and facilities in the late 24th century to assist medical staff in times of emergency. The program - whose formal name is EMH Program AK-1 Diagnostic and Surgical Subroutine Omega 322 (although the latest version is designated as AK-12) - was originally developed by Doctor Lewis Zimmerman on Jupiter Station. Newer models of the program have been developed in conjunction with Commander Reginald Barclay, who took over from Dr. Zimmerman after his retirement in 2381.

The EMH is programmed with a growing database of over five million possible treatments from the collective information of 2000 medical references and the experience of over 50 individual medical officers, as well as having adaptive programming for situations outside of those in its database. EMH programs are only intended for use as a temporary measure to assist existing medical staff, or in extreme cases, to temporarily replace them until a new doctor is assigned.

Mark I

Work on the EMH program began as far back as 2360, which was conducted by Starfleet Medical though information on it was known only to a few individuals. Zimmerman's initial proposal for an Emergency Medical Hologram (or "Holo-Doc") was presented in 2365 to Dr. Beverly Crusher. By the time the holographic matrix was completed in 2370, it had to have official approval by Admiral Leonard McCoy.

The Mark I EMH was modelled on Dr. Zimmerman, in both its physical characteristics and personality. This was considered a flaw in the the program's design by many Starfleet medical personnel, though a number of medical officers came to appreciate the program's capabilities and lack of simulated emotionalism.

Given these initial reactions, the Mark I was quickly replaced on many ships by newer versions. The existing Mark I EMHs were reprogrammed for more menial tasks, such as scrubbing plasma conduits and mining dilithium ore. Several Mark I EMGs continued to serve in their intended roles, including "The Doctor" of the USS Voyager and the EMG on the USS Equinox; both vessels having been stranded in the Delta Quadrant did not, of course, have access to upgraded versions. A Mark I EMH also remained on the USS Enterprise-E into 2379, as Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher preferred it to later versions.

The Soong Foundation discovered that more than 600 EMH Mark I models were put into servitude by Starfleet mining dilithium. Soong Foundation attorney Alyssa Cogley-Shaw sued for an injunction for Starfleet to reveal the status of all its holographic programs. She claimed this was the slavery of sentient lifeforms, but Starfleet appealed the injunction claiming that the Mark I models are photonic tools.

Mark II

The EMH Mark II was programmed with new physical characteristics and to be a much more polite and friendly individual. Some starships such as the prototype for the Prometheus-class were fitted with ship-wide holographic projection systems so that EMHs could attend emergencies outside of sickbay, but these systems were determined to be too power-hungry on most starships, are were not made standard on new ship construction designs.

Mark III

The EMH Mark III came into general use during the height of the Dominion War, and included stringent security protocols. It also featured an improvement of its personality subroutine over the previous models. However, following the end of the war, these security measures came to be viewed as a hindrance to effective caregiving.

Mark IV

The EMH Mark IV came into use in early 2376, replacing the Mark III.

Mark V

Mark VI

The EMH Mark VI unusually had a personality type reversion which gave it a demeanour very similar to the EMH Mark I. The Mark VI had pale, blueish skin.

Mark VII


Mark IX

The EMH Mark IX was online by 2380. This version looked like a young female with strawberry-blonde hair, and could replicate herself as necessary. Many Mark IXs were nicknamed "Nina" as a play on the program's numerical designation. The Mark IX program was especially effective during heavy combat, due to its replication capabilities, allowing more patients to be seen at once. The Mark IX was notable as the first female holographic doctor, and was loaded with a far more pleasant personality than any of its predecessors.

Mark X

The Mark X was the second female model of the EMH program to be designed, and was developed with a far more commanding personality than the Mark IX, who some officers thought was too accomodating to patients it interacted with, and many complained that it did not feel as if they were being treated by a qualified doctor. The personality of the Mark X later came under scrutiny for being too heartless and uncaring, proving that it is impossible to please all people when it comes to holographic personalities.

Mark XI

The EMH Mark XI was brought online by 2381. This was the last EMH program to be developed by Dr. Zimmerman, and the following years saw EMH programs lasting far longer before being replaced, being developed by Dr. Zimmerman's former partner, Reginald Barclay. Following criticism of the previous two models, the Mark XI returned to using a male template for its holographic matrix and personality profile.

Mark XII

The EMH Mark XII was the first Medical Holographic program to be developed entirely by Commander Barclay after Zimmerman's retirement. First installed on Federation starships for field testing in 2386, the program was designed to cope with the evolving nature of the medical field and a starships needs for far longer than any of its preceding programs, and Barclay predicted that a new program would not need to be released until at the earliest 2391. The Mark XII was designed to automatically update itself with new medical journals published by both Starfleet Medical and the databases of other medical journals the Federation had access to, and was pre-programmed to constantly evaluate the reactions of the crew to interaction with it, and mould its personality to suit, thus giving each individual program a different personality from it's default after the first activation. It was Barclay's hopes that this program would become standard on all Federation starships by 2388, though with captains allowing their chief medical officer to decide which hologram they preferred, all of the older versions of the program are still in varying use aboard starships all over the Federation, making a quantifiable study of usage of the new model difficult to obtain.