CURA Grupo modernizes its infrastructure and increases agility for patient care

About CURA Grupo

CURA Grupo is one of Brazil’s largest medical diagnostics conglomerates, with 30 operations in the states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: Brazil

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Since starting to use the cloud, CURA Grupo has achieved scalability and paved the way for innovation, aiming to improve usage of the company’s strategic data and indicators.

Google Cloud results

  • No downtime for databases and related apps since the migration.
  • Easier merger and acquisition processes as new servers can be made available in one day.
  • Use of strategic information thanks to easier access.
  • Secure confidential data storage.
  • More agile patient care and diagnostics.

70,000+ telemedicine reports issued every month

CURA Grupo is one of Brazil’s largest medical diagnostics conglomerates with over 1,600 employees, 500 qualified physicians, and 6 million examinations conducted every year. The organization operates through ten local brands with a well-established position in their respective markets: CDIP, CURA, DMI, Lab Imagem, Med Imagem, Medvia, SRC, Sonitec, Ultramed, and Viva Imagem.

For technical matters, the company used to have an on-premise infrastructure - a legacy of quick merger and acquisition processes - to support its services. However, it needed a larger team for environment maintenance to run backup routines and monitor services, especially during night shifts.

CURA Grupo performs more than 30,000 examinations every day, and consolidating that data in the on-prem infrastructure was becoming increasingly unfeasible. Acquiring and using drives for both the database and image storage was a problem to overcome.

Choosing the cloud as a service provider became a necessity since the time spent monitoring and on other activities could be turned into investments in new structures with a more positive impact on the business.

Another important goal was improving patient care by increasing data and internal information integration and operational agility. This coalesced into a target CURA Grupo wanted to achieve, and Google Cloud proved to be an ally in effecting that change.

"We had already attended a few Google Cloud events so we knew how the technology worked. One of the aspects that made cloud migration easier was the level of expertise and knowledge of the tools we support. Based on that, we looked for resources to handle file and image storage and technologies that would fit into our operational model," explains José Venson, CURA Grupo’s head of IT and Innovation.

Migrating to the cloud step by step

Since the project began in 2019, Google Cloud’s engineering team has supported the organization by holding meetings, answering technical questions, and even sending local engineers, which helped with communications. The flexibility of these in-person and remote meetings aided the process.

Another important element was the Database Migration Service, which, along with the synchronization with the on-prem server’s database and the cloud, led to a seamless transition, with just around 20 minutes of downtime.

The project was performed in stages. The first was migrating the data volume containing medical data, MRIs, CAT scans, mammograms and everything related to this area.

The second stage dealt with the integrated management system (ERP) used by the company, which ran in an on-prem structure. CURA Grupo realized it should prevent system breaches, which is why it decided to act preventively and move to the cloud, aiming for data security and confidentiality.

The third and final stage encompassed the migration of healthcare systems, a space where health professionals analyze images, issue reports, produce records, and compare results with those from previous examinations, for example. That platform contains a complex Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) that was adapted to the cloud.

A key component in this stage was the Medvia Diagnóstico telemedicine platform, now hosted in Google Cloud. This operation is crucial to support night shifts in several healthcare facilities that do not have their own teams.

"We issue over 70,000 medical reports every month. Examinations take place in a hospital and are sent to the headquarters using Google Cloud. The report is issued and sent in less than an hour. As the diagnosis and the time it takes are critical, we need highly available infrastructure."

Dr. Marcelo Pachaly Dalcin, MD, radiologist, and shift coordinator, Medvia Diagnóstico

Product usability and visible benefits

At Medvia, the most used tools are Compute Engine and Cloud SQL. The infrastructure consists of a virtual machine running the app in Java and the front-end.

Regarding Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud Functions, together with Firestore and Cloud Scheduler, reads the databases, looks for information, and triggers emails to operational data managers.

Cloud Functions and Cloud Scheduler also shut down databases that are not needed at night. As many operations are not 24/7, the company can scale or shut down the hardware when clinics are closed. This will be done until the company’s systems are 100% cloud native and therefore autoscalable. Besides these scheduled periods, no downtime has been registered in the databases and related apps since the migration.

Google Cloud’s solutions also allow CURA Grupo to compile indicators from its different units faster. M&A processes for clinics are now supported by the ability to upload systems for a new unit in a day, while uploading a new server used to take weeks. Other advantages mentioned were the entire infrastructure’s flexibility, adaptability, and scalability.

"The new structure enabled us to streamline corporate information and BI systems. Consolidating data from the company’s different sources and units spread throughout Brazil is now easier as our systems operate in the cloud. We have access to strategic information and dashboards with agility and stability."

José Venson, Head of IT & Innovation, CURA Grupo

The new cloud environment’s benefits also reach end users, i.e., patients. With optimized services, the company can provide diagnoses faster. Another differentiator is the inclusion of a security layer for operations, ensuring data privacy. Access control for apps, automatic notifications, and file version control provide protection against undesired modifications and a clearer view of who is accessing resources.

The corporation’s next steps will be embracing more of the wide array of products available in the cloud. Maturing apps, modeling them so they become cloud native, and completing the healthcare systems’ migration journey are some of the plans for the coming months. CURA Grupo will naturally focus on improving service delivery, and modernization is the way forward.

"By maintaining our structure in Google Cloud, we have more time to cater to our patients’ needs. Another benefit is the security of having online apps available. We were able to focus on development."

José Venson, Head of IT & Innovation, CURA Grupo

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About CURA Grupo

CURA Grupo is one of Brazil’s largest medical diagnostics conglomerates, with 30 operations in the states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: Brazil