Use of personal "chip-lockets" and universal smart cards is science fiction, but electronic record keeping is already science fact. Medical records have changed from being a personal aide-memoire to a document that is shared between clinicians to improve patient care. Electronic patient records make best use of computer based data to provide better information to patients and support to professionals through access to external knowledge bases and educational material. Some hospitals now use multi-media, voice activated electronic patient records, transforming care. The next step is to create a summary personal health record in a variety of formats that records the key health events in your life,and the care and treatment received. This may be held by individuals for personal use and available to authorised doctors and nurses who have a clinical need to know the right information at the right time.