Taking It on the Road
A look at some of the latest portable oxygen concentrator offerings.
- By Joseph Duffy
- Aug 01, 2013
The popularity of portable oxygen concentrators has grown significantly over recent years. According to Medicare HCPCS claims data, there were an estimated 1,500 patients who received a POC billed to Medicare in 2007. That rose to approximately 26,000 patients in 2011. In 2007, POC payments were approximately $2 million, which grew to almost $16 million in 2011, the year of he latest available data. This growth included the 2009 impact of the rental cap, and focuses only on the POCs billed as a portable system to Medicare. Thousands of POCs sold directly to self-paying patients, as well as the many POCs provided by HME companies for travel purposes, are not included in that data.
Why so popular? POCs give patients independence and peace of mind with options and efficiencies that were not possible with the tank delivery system. And HME providers are discovering that POCs offer significant savings on delivery costs and a retail opportunity that provides additional cash flow. POCs empower HME providers to eliminate nearly all of the non-value added operational costs associated with the provision of portable oxygen therapy, without compromising patient care and quality of life, says Joe Lewarski, BS, RRT, FAARC, vice president of Clinical Affairs for Invacare Corp. Because they are no longer limited to the capacity of the device, or access to a power source means that POC oxygen patients enjoy unprecedented levels of independence.
With the increase in the patient population, and as patients learn more about the benefits of the technology, the popularity of POCs is expected to grow. To help you build a sound POC business, here is a list of POCs that are currently available on the market:
SimplyGo Offers Continuous Flow and Pulse-Dose Delivery
SimplyGo offers continuous flow and pulse-dose delivery in one 10-pound device. The oxygen output for this device is 2,000 ml/min. SimplyGo’s sleep modes provide increased trigger sensitivity and a softer pulse for comfort. Providers can choose a two-, three- or five-year warranty on the POC. The basic system includes the POC, carrying case, mobile cart, rechargeable lithium ion battery, power cords, accessory bag and manual. At a pulse dose setting of 2, the battery is estimated to last three hours and at continuous flow 2 LPM, about 54 minutes.
Eclipse 3 Offers autoSAT Technology
The Eclipse 3’s autoSAT technology helps maintain a consistent Fi02 by servo-controlling the device to meet the patient’s changing respiratory rate. The device is capable of delivering pulse flow during the daytime and continuous flow during sleep. In Pulse Dose Mode, if an inspiratory effort is not detected, the device will deliver a continuous flow of oxygen, continually searching for a breath every 15 seconds. The Eclipse 3 weighs 15 pounds and comes with a cart with telescoping handle. The FAA has approved the Eclipse 3 for onboard, in-flight use.
Focus POC Equipped with UltraSense
Weighing 1.75 pounds, Focus comes with UltraSense, a technology that provides a sensitive pulse dose delivery, ensuring pulse dose delivery in the first phase of inhalation, when the highest levels of gas exchange are occurring in the lungs. A reliable pulse dose is expected even when Focus is operated with up to 25 feet of tubing. FAA-approved, Focus uses a rechargeable battery or connects to AC/DC power. Users can purchase the optional AirBelt, which is a battery belt pack.
XPO2 Encourages Travel
Invacare’s XPO2 is named after its portability. The device weighs approximately 6 pounds (7.3 pounds with supplemental battery), and also has AC/DC power options. Its Sensi-Pulse technology customizes the size of each bolus of oxygen to help meet patient demand. Regardless of a patient’s breath rate at any given setting, the same amount of oxygen is provided per minute. As the breath rate decreases, the bolus size increases. The XPO2 is FAA-approved for in-flight use and comes with AC adapter, DC adapter, accessory bag and carrying case.
XPO2 Portable Concentrator
SOLO2 Offers Sensi-Pulse Technology
The SOLO2 Concentrator offers continuous flow oxygen up to 3 LPM or pulse dose oxygen in settings 1-5. Its Sensi-Pulse technology customizes the size of each bolus of oxygen to help meet patient demand. Regardless of a patient’s breath rate at any given setting, the same amount of oxygen is provided per minute. As the breath rate decreases, the bolus size increases. The device weighs 17 pounds and the battery lasts approximately 2.6 hours at 2 LPM. Battery recharge time is about 4.5 hours. The SOLO2 is FAA approved.
SOLO2 Portable Concentrator
Oxlife Independence Uses Patented ESA Technology
With continuous flow up to 3 LPM and pulse settings up to 6 (96ml), the Oxlife Independence provides 24/7 oxygen. Its patented ESA technology makes the device energy efficient, so patients can use it on all settings and charge it while in the car. The device weighs 16.7 pounds and has an estimated battery life of 5.75 hours at 2 pulse at 20 bpm and 2.5 hours at 2 LPM continuous. Oxlife Independence comes with an integrated cart with 6-inch wheels, and is FAA approved.
FreeStyle and FreeStyle 5 uses UltraSense
The FreeStyle POC (bottom) makes its own oxygen in a compact package where the FreeStyle 5 (top) is a full-capacity POC with five pulse-setting options. Both devices have UltraSense, a technology that provides a sensitive pulse dose delivery, ensuring pulse dose delivery in the first phase of inhalation, when the highest levels of gas exchange are occurring in the lungs. The FreeStyle is 4.4 pounds, and the FreeStyle 5 weighs 6.2 pounds. Both units are FAA-approved.
FreeStyle and FreeStyle 5
LifeChoice Activox POC Weighs 4.8 pounds
The lightweight LifeChoice Activox POC weighs 4.8 pounds, delivers up to 12 hours of internal battery life (with the Pro Model) and provides up to 3 LPMeq of oxygen. Its auto Mode Technology automatically adjusts patient therapy based on oxygen demand so that patients maintain saturation day and night. The device’s PULSE-WAVE Delivery system sends oxygen continuously during the first 30 percent of inhalation so that the patient receives what is delivered. It also minimizes uncomfortable side effects associated with continuous flow devices. LifeChoice Activox is FAA approved for in-flight use.
LifeChoice Activox Portable Oxygen Concentrator
This article originally appeared in the Respiratory & Sleep Management August 2013 issue of HME Business.
Joseph Duffy is a freelance writer and marketing consultant, and a regular contributor to HME Business and DME Pharmacy. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.