Virtual mannequin EVA begins her duties at Larbert hospital

Forth Valley Royal Hospital has welcomed a new member of staff with a difference.

She speaks, she smiles, she offers advice and helps provide patients with lots of information ...

But the latest recruit at the Larbert hospital is an optical illusion – a virtual mannequin called EVA, believed to be the first of her generation to be used in a Scottish hospital.

Following the flick of a switch, EVA (which stands for Electronic Virtual Assistant), began her duties in the foyer of Forth Valley Royal Hospital today, relaying information on how to quit smoking, reminding visitors to use hand gel to help stop the spread of infection and details of what’s on the menu in the hospital’s restaurant.

EVA, a 2D hologram who looks like a real person, has been created by the creative digital out-of-home advertising company MediaZest, using advanced computer technology and the image and voice of a Scottish actress.

Mike Mackay, contract director at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for the facilities company Serco who installed the new mannequin, said: “We decided to employ EVA because she will certainly catch the eye of patients, staff and visitors. Her messages are clear and succinct and she will always be pleasant and calm. We hope in future to get her to deliver more health messages such as information on how to become a blood donor or sign the organ transplant register.”

Geoff Robertson, CEO of MediaZest, added: “We are delighted to be working with Serco and we hope this deployment will be the first of many we complete together. Delivering vital health messages through our technology is precisely the type of installation where our innovative solutions can be used to better gain attention in crowded, high footfall areas.”

Over the last few weeks Serco staff at the hospital have been putting EVA through her paces as part of a trial run. Feedback so far has been positive with people fascinated by her and many stopping to watch and listen.

Holograms are currently being used in several UK airports to relay security information or welcome passengers. The virtual mannequin at Forth Valley Royal Hospital is the latest in a long line of technology at the hospital which includes laser-guided robots which transport food, waste and linen, mail-sorting robots, robotic cleaning equipment and the most comprehensive robotic pharmacy system of its kind in Scotland.

Click here for a video of the mannequin in action Forth Valley Royal Hospital mannequin.