Our principles

Inspire was created with the belief that patients and caregivers need a safe and secure place to support and connect with one another.

We strive to be ethical and transparent, and we never forget that our community is built upon the trust of our members. We place the utmost value on this trust, and maintaining it is our highest priority.

Virtually every web site has a privacy policy; you can read ours here, as well as our terms of use; they describe our legal commitments to our members. But simply following the letter of a privacy policy falls short, we think, of treating people the right way, and so we follow additional principles as well. These principles are:

  1. Transparency
  2. Control
  3. Clarity
  4. Safety

Transparency

As a company, we strive to be as transparent as possible about why we do what we do. This fosters an environment of trust.

Member control

We believe that our members should be in control of their personal information and how it's shared. We make this straightforward through an easy to use privacy control panel. We've chosen the default settings based on what we think is right, and we make it simple for members to change their own settings anytime and as often as they want.

Clarity

We aim to never trick you — intentionally or accidentally. Many of us have inadvertently shared more than we wanted to when confused by a Web site. At Inspire, there are numerous examples of improvements we've made to our site to reduce confusion. We have learned that not everyone is confused by the same things, so we design our site in a way that respects our members. This means being easy-to-use without being patronizing. A lot of thought goes into that, and we're always improving. We ask ourselves: 'is this screen clear to our members?' — and so we think the word 'clarity' describes one of our goals.

Safety

We work hard to create an environment where patients and caregivers feel safe sharing information about their health and the health of their loved ones. This means constantly thinking about the safety and security of Inspire. From a technical standpoint this means building features with security in mind and using best practices like encryption. But there's also a practical side to keeping Inspire safe. We have guidelines that articulate what it means to be a member of Inspire, as well as some things we don't allow here because they detract from the community. We make it easy for members to report violations of these guidelines to us, and have human beings on call to read and respond to those reports. In this way we work with you to keep Inspire safe and secure.

Our business model

Inspire is a mission-driven company, and we want to ensure that we can provide our community free to individuals and non-profit patient advocacy associations. Our feeling on this topic is best captured by the way Katherine Graham described her responsibility as publisher of The Washington Post: "In order to be a good newspaper, we must also be a good business."

In all of our work, we respect your privacy. We do not share personally identifiable information about you with third parties without your consent. You can read more about our practices in our privacy policy.

We will always be transparent about how we earn money. These are the main ways:

Clinical trial recruitment

We help Inspire members find relevant clinical trials by inviting them to connect with researchers seeking qualified participants. Clinical trial sponsors pay Inspire for this service. Members may choose, if they wish, to not receive information about clinical trials using their message preferences. For more information please read our policy on clinical trials.

Consumer health research

We offer health-focused research services to companies that wish to learn about patients and their experiences with medical conditions and treatments.

Advertising

We accept advertisements as a way to help support our communities. Whenever advertisements appear in our communities, they are clearly identified as advertisements. We do not endorse products or services advertised in our communities. Also, we do not allow commercial messages in discussions in our communities, to ensure a clear separation between advertising and the words members write.


We hope it goes without saying that we want this to be a two-way conversation with you, so please never hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. You can reach us by writing team@inspire.com or using our feedback form.