Wollongong Hospital is now the "envy" of Australian medical facilities after getting the nation's first digital gamma ray camera.
The $1.3 million machine will primarily be used to scan patients with heart disease and cancer, and replaces outdated machinery.
It will scan patients in less time and at lower radiation doses, according to Director of Nuclear Medicine Associate Professor Barry Elison.
"This is the envy of nuclear medicine having the first one," he said.
"In some cases we are using up to 75 per cent less radiation than we did previously, and whilst these scans are very safe."
Professor Elison compared the efficiency of the machine to that of using an old analogue phone to a new digital smartphone, "there's a lot more information available and you can use it for a lot more things".
Scans which previously took 15 minutes to complete can now be done in four to five minutes. While patients will be able to get results faster and treatment can commence sooner.
Deputy Chief Medical Radiation Scientist Jenny Calcott explained the gamma camera works by taking pictures of small amounts of ionising radiation emitted from patients.
"Nuclear medicine involves injecting a patient with a radio isotope -which is a gamma emitter," she said.
"We have all different types of radio pharmaceuticals for different illnesses. The patient then lies on the bed and we're able to get images of the area that we need to and get a diagnosis hopefully."
Ms Calcott said the new machine could be used on any type of bodily organ and could be used to assist with a wide range of illnesses.
Professor Elison said Wollongong Hospital was first in line for this machine because they "chase innovation" and push hard to replace aging equipment.
He added that the new machine also allowed other previously unavailable studies to be provided at Wollongong Hospital at no extra cost.