A £35,000 ultrasound machine has been bought by West Suffolk Hospital to give rheumatology patients an earlier diagnosis and quicker treatment.
The machine was purchased following a donation from the friends of the hospital and replaces older leased equipment.
It allows clinicians to detect early inflammation and damage to joints.
Dr Shweta Bhagat, consultant rheumatologist, said: “We will use the ultrasound to help diagnose several types of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. It is also an incredibly useful tool for monitoring the effects of treatment and guiding further therapy.”
Grant Greetham, chairman of the Friends group, added: “Early detection and possible prevention from any illness has to be the way forward.”