About

The Forge is Duke University’s center for health data science. Located within the School of Medicine, the Forge spans multiple schools and departments at Duke, uniting experts from across the campus with interest and expertise in actionable data science. Forge faculty, staff, and students create innovative approaches to the fusion of biostatistics and machine learning, implementing the insights gained into patient care and leveraging digital information to enable healthy living and disease prevention.

Our mission: To free the data to enable actionable insights and measurements that will guide implementation efforts across health systems.

Asking Actionable Clinical Questions

In high-impact data science, we first consider the clinical question, then ask what data are needed to answer it—all while carefully tailoring our methods and selecting the best tools for analysis. When new methods are needed, the Forge develops them and assesses their value as part of the quantitative “tool chest.” This iterative approach to evaluating and incorporating data, clinical insight, and methods helps us meet our goals of improving health and healthcare while reducing costs and shedding inefficiencies.

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Improving the Model for Research Teams

Duke Forge re-imagines traditional models of clinical and translational research and implementation. Recognizing that true breakthroughs require multifaceted teams with insights and experience from across disparate disciplines, the Forge draws upon Duke’s deep integration of bioscience and clinical care to create supportive frameworks for diverse teams with clinical and quantitative expertise. In addition, Forge’s commitment to “learning by doing” is helping to prepare new generations of researchers for the era of team science by matching the enthusiasm and fresh ideas of talented graduate students with experienced mentorship.

Achieving Meaningful Impact

Duke Forge is dedicated to improving the well-being of all the people we serve—patients, caregivers, and people seeking to improve their health or avoid illness. As society moves toward value-based healthcare, Duke Forge will equip teams to engage people in new ways across the spectrum of states of health and disease, while maintaining necessary safeguards for privacy and confidentiality.

Striving for Better Future

We recognize that existing approaches to healthcare and research must change if we are to overcome the most significant health challenges facing us today. For this reason, Forge seeks to combine imagination, expertise, and crucial refinements to critical infrastructure to break down academic silos, liberate useful data, and enable a creative, problem-solving culture that supports data science across all settings.