There is great scope for machine intelligence to bolster human endeavours to improve health and wellbeing. The Editorial team of the world’s largest multidisciplinary open-access journal, Scientific Reports, has brought together a selection of research that has contributed to the recent rapid progress of this field. Describing applications to infectious diseases, oncology, neurology, cardiology and ophthalmology, the 45 featured papers are completely free to access; simply click here. This Collection represents just a fraction of the machine learning research that’s been published in Scientific Reports. Access more than a thousand other free-to-access papers here.