New tactics developed by the Marine Corps that emphasize smaller, highly mobile units operating in distant lands make the need for better medical care closer to the battlefront even more important. That care is on its way in the form of an emergency room in a backpack being developed in part by a team of doctors at UTMB. It’s part of an effort to bring close to the front lines treatment normally found only in the best hospital emergency rooms. One possibility under consideration is attaching equipment, known as the Automated Critical Care System, to a drone that would carry the patient to a hospital ship. “It’s robot airplanes and robot medical care at the extreme part of this vision,” said UTMB’s George Kramer, a researcher who pioneered two key components of the system. The Navy entered into a $2 million contract with UTMB nine months ago to deliver the final products in five years, but Kramer said researchers believe they can complete the contract sooner.