The Forge is Duke University’s center for actionable 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 and Priorities

Duke Forge promotes a culture of learning health by engaging partners to curate, analyze, and disseminate reliable and actionable information that leads to improved health for individuals and populations. In order to fulfill this mission, Forge has identified five key priorities:

Photo collage showing candid photos of participants in a Duke Forge Health Data Science Showcase held on Duke Univeristy Campus.
  • Promoting data liquidity by embedding access to high-quality data as a fundamental cultural and institutional value that is critical to efforts to improve the health of the people we serve.
  • Supporting health system innovation by encouraging the generation of actionable data for patient-centered care that improves outcomes, delivers value, and honors our commitment to access and health equity for vulnerable populations and communities.
  • Fostering education and workforce development by helping to prepare current and future generations of clinicians and scientists for a data-rich future.
  • Promoting accurate, trustworthy communication by combating the threat of misleading health information and exploring ways to ensure that high-quality evidence prevails.
  • Strengthening vulnerable 'Red Zone' communities through a focus on actionable risk in individuals and populations who are living in rural areas or urban neighborhoods where ongoing measurement shows deteriorating health status.

Striving for Better Future

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. 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.

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. 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.