A Decision: Our Story, Part 5

by | Jul 21, 2015 | Business Leadership, Events, News

SoundRocket: A Name is Selected

With six names to choose from, it was time to make a decision.  Today I will emphasize the process of elimination, and in my next post, I will make the case for why we found SoundRocket to be such an excellent fit.


The easiest to reject – not because of the quality of the name, but because of the industry term “field”.  Used often to represent “field interviewers” in survey research, this was one service that was not in our list of capabilities.  The name was rejected immediately.


Practicing the science of survey research in a field with mostly PhD level researchers who are funded on government grants (usually National Institutes of Health or National Science Foundation), we have learned that we can build strong collaborations.  However, our customer is the principal investigator who has received the funding – and we understand our role as their methodological support team.  Counterpart felt like it was crossing the line and claiming too prominent a role in the research.  We understood that our customers were the only ones who could assign us such prestige.


A favorite from the start – Wheelhouse had a comfortable nautical feel, and spoke to the feeling of adventure and movement that we often conveyed.  This name didn’t lose – it was simply bested by a name that was exactly what we were looking for.  We have something in mind for how we may use this name in the future and have acquired several domains that would work with it in case we do pursue them.


While this name conveyed both movement and stability, its western feel turned us away eventually as we found ourselves looking for places to tie up our horses and shovels to clean up the mess.

Honest Table

Transparency and collaboration are key to our character, and Honest Table does well at communicating both.  Our trouble with this name was its similarity to a well-known restaurant reservation service.

Describing the reasons for rejection of these five names makes this process look simpler than it was.  We discussed, debated, laid down definitive objections and preferences, and allowed the names to rest in our minds.  It wasn’t long though – from start to finish, it took us less than two weeks to finalize our choice: introducing SoundRocket!

Come back tomorrow to learn why SoundRocket earned its place on our wall…

Currently, the FDA only regulates true direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, which have no health care provider involved either before or after testing. Consumer-initiated, physician-mediated genetic tests are considered lab developed tests (LDTs), which currently do not require FDA oversight. 


Our Study Design

Our study was designed to simulate the experience of an everyday person who is considering doing a health-related genetic test. For this reason, we only reviewed website contents presented to a consumer before ordering a test. By limiting our data collection to pre-test content, instead of digging around or contacting the companies to fill in missing data points, gaps in public-facing information that consumers use to make ‘informed’ decisions were revealed.  

Also, while a genetic counselor supervised the project, a research assistant (RA) conducted most of the website investigations. The RA was familiar enough with genetics and genetic testing to understand and identify the information presented on the websites, but has not had the clinical exposure that might create bias from knowing how specific tests work “behind-the-scenes”. 


To Sum Up

We set out to understand the landscape of health-related consumer genomics testing from the public perspective. By limiting our research (by design) to public-facing pre-test website content, we could not complete our data collection as set out in the protocol. However, this uncovered an important observation: consumer genomics websites are highly variable in content, readability and ease of use. 

This begs the question, if we can’t find basic test information on a consumer genomics website, how does a consumer have enough information to make an informed choice about testing? 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, where we will dig into our study findings and reveal our most interesting observations.  



As experts in FDA user comprehension studies for consumer genomics companies seeking 510(k) clearance, we are interested in how everyday people access and understand health content that is meant for them. If you need help optimizing your consumer-directed health communications, we’ve got the in-house expertise and experience to meet your needs. Let’s chat

About the Author

Scott D. Crawford

Scott D. Crawford is the Founder and Chief Vision Officer at SoundRocket. He is also often found practicing being a husband, father, entrepreneur, forever-learner, survey methodologist, science writer & advocate, and podcast lover. While he doesn’t believe in reincarnation, he’s certain he was a Great Dane (of the canine type) in a previous life.