The regulatory compliance journey of myBioma – #BHHMembersInitiatives

Biome Diagnostics GmbH is an Austrian medtech startup utilizing the genetic information of the microbiome and AI to develop medical diagnostic software for doctors. Biome Dx products utilize technologies such as next-generation sequencing, pipeline architectures and microservices.

With their lifestyle product myBioma every European has the possibility to learn more about their gut microbiome and improve lifestyle and diet. Furthermore, the product enables to optimize their technical development flow. Since 2020, Biome Dx is the very first company in the microbiome field in the world that is certified according to ISO 13485 and ISO 9001.

Building Compliance on Jira and Confluence with SoftComply apps

As a passionate and tech-driven company they loved the idea of building a software that positively impacts patients’ lives, however, they were unaware of the regulatory horrors to come. During their first exchanges with other medtech startups the phrases “QMS” and “ISO 13485” were often used without fully grasping the importance of such a system. Clearly quality is always of the highest priority for a startup — what else could there be to understand?

Specifically, in the beginning of a development process for medical software one might not think about documentation and integrated standards. How to review code? How do you plan integration tests? Who has which responsibilities? How is a new feature validated? Where is the validation documented? What risks are associated with the product and how high is the probability of occurrence? How do you version your machine learning model so it’s compliant? How do you handle unique device identification in a microservice environment?

“Even though it is tempting, don’t start building the product without thinking about regulatory requirements and the certification process ahead.”

As an agile company they didn’t want to have a zombie QMS (QMS that is never touched) that brings more overhead to the company than it actually eases processes by having them defined. They didn’t want to have a documentation in place that is setup once and only adapted in some night sessions shortly before the audit.

This is why they decided to use an electronic quality management system (eQMS) to integrate in their sprint management.

How to use an electronic quality management system (eQMS)

There are several systems available on the market, however, none fitted their requirements perfectly. Specifically, they were mostly confronted with the following problems:

  • lack of integrations
  • terrible usability (Win95 style)
  • too complex usage
  • lack of exportability

After extensive reviews they chose the Atlassian products Jira and Confluence.

Jira covers the sprint management containing medical user needs (=epics) and software requirements (=tasks). It is widely used in agile software development and can excellently be integrated with popular version control systems such as Bitbucket, GitHub and GitLab where code development and versioning are depicted. With the help of external plugins you are able to even build a risk matrix in Jira mitigating risks by linking them to Jira issues.

Confluence acts as the document management system where all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and templates are defined. With the help of companies like BHH member SoftComply, which offer quality-related Atlassian plugins, they were able to build a compliant system that includes approval workflows. The advantage is that you can write your technical documentation in Confluence and easily include requirements from Jira into Confluence pages. The linked pages are then also shown within the Jira issues.

“The advantage of Jira and Confluence based system is that they can be used it for quality-related purposes and also for handling all other processes and documentation within the company, which helped creating an eQMS that is operated on a daily basis. Moreover, such an integrated eQMS reduces the number of tools adopted by the team, making it easier to get everyone familiar with its usage.”

If you want the full tutorial on how an agile medical device company can master an ISO13485 audit by Biome Dx, read the whole article HERE.