Portable Oxygen Concentrators
A critical component of your oxygen business.
- By Joseph Duffy
- Aug 01, 2012
To keep pace with the myriad reimbursement challenges that have bombarded the oxygen industry over the past few years, providers continue to look for ways to streamline business and cut operating costs. A growing strategy is to adopt a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) model, which has helped providers to meet referral and patient demands while driving operational efficiencies in their business.
Over the last seven years, POCs in general have become far more reliable, economic, small, and lightweight than previous models, allowing today’s oxygen patient to be more mobile than ever before. With each new iteration of POC, providers are seeing a better profit margin.
“This has been great to minimize our tank deliveries for high-use patients,” said Dave Baxter, President of Medical Necessities & Services, LLC. “We are hopeful to continue this model to help eliminate adding additional personnel and continue to grow our oxygen business by double digits annually. We continue to invest in technology and use portable concentrators to minimize our deliveries of tanks.”
Baxter also points out that he has patients who have been on oxygen for a number of years and have reached the five-year renewal period and request to have POCs as their modality of therapy instead of traditional therapy (tanks).
For patients, POCs have added a freedom that’s been unattainable in other oxygen technologies. With POCs, patients can more easily travel via air, rail, boat and car with higher confidence and comfort. They like not having to call to request tank refills. They like not having to wait for deliveries. They are welcoming independence, flexibility and a sense of normalcy back into their lives.
POCs keep getting smaller and battery lives longer. But before you leave your patient with their new gadget, it is imperative to educate them about operation and usage. The more comfortable they feel, the more successful this costsaving strategy will be for them and your business.
Here are some of the newest POCs available today:
Invacare XPO2 Helps Encourage Patient Mobility
Invacare recently introduced the Invacare XPO2 Portable Concentrator to its line of home oxygen technologies. Named for its extreme portability, the XPO2 Concentrator was manufactured to be lightweight, clinically robust and easy to operate. The supplemental battery and AC or DC power options make it easy for patients to achieve just about all their travel goals. Recently approved by the FAA for in-fl ight use, the XPO2 Portable Concentrator helps encourage mobility, travel and independence.
Invacare SOLO2 Offers Continuous Flow Oxygen up to 3 LPM
Another recent addition to Invacare’s line of home oxygen technologies is the Invacare SOLO2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator. The SOLO2 Concentrator off ers continuous flow oxygen up to 3 LPM or pulse dose oxygen in settings 1-5. It is designed to be a flexible, reliable and clinically robust system that is easy to operate. Like the XPO2 Portable Concentrator, SOLO2 has a supplemental battery and AC or DC power options that lets patients be confident while being mobile. The FAA has approved the SOLO2 for in-flight use.
SeQual Eclipse3 Helps Maintain Consistent FiO2
The SeQual Eclipse 3 features autoSAT technology, which helps maintain a consistent FiO2 by servo-controlling the device to meet the patient’s changing respiratory rate. The Eclipse 3 is approved for Rx of 0.5 – 3.0 LPM continuous flow, and has pulse dose volumes from 16mL to 192mL. The devise has three rise time options: fast, medium and slow. In Pulse Dose Mode, if an inspiratory eff ort is not detected, the device will deliver a continuous flow of oxygen, continually searching for a breath every 15 seconds. The unit weighs 15 pounds and the power cartridge weighs 3.4 pounds.
02 Concepts Offers Smallest POC Footprint in Industry
O2 Concepts 3 LPM/96 mL portable oxygen concentrator is called the Oxlife Independence, which O2 Concepts says has the smallest footprint and the longest battery life in its class. Other features include patent pending ESA technology that complements its core VPSA design, the ability to run on all settings in a car (DC mode), split battery design that allows for flexibility, and FAA approval for in-flight use.
02 Concepts, LLC
Inova Labs Offers Lightweight Oxygen Concentrator
Inova Labs says that their LifeChoice POC delivers the most oxygen available, pound for pound, in a POC of its size — just 4.9 lbs and that it’s the first POC with Auto Mode Technology to automatically adjust to oxygen demand across active-high and sleep-low modes. The on-demand PULSE-WAVE Delivery System provides oxygen congruent with the patient’s normal inhalation rate and assures oxygen prescribed is received. Patients maintain O2 saturation levels, day or night. Side effects like nasal irritation and nosebleeds are minimized due to reductions in retrograde flow.
AirSep Focus Weighs in at 1.75 Pounds
AirSep Corporation says its new Focus POC is the smallest and lightest portable oxygen concentrator available. Weighing 1.75 lbs. (0.8 kg), the unit is for active patients and those who need minimal weight burden from their O2 supply. The Focus uses external microweight batteries and includes a universal power supply with AC and DC power cords for plugging into normal household electric or a 12-volt outlet found in cars, motor homes, and motorboats. The Focus can be worn over the shoulder in its accompanying carrying case or around the waist. Optional accessories include an AirBelt for extended battery duration and a carry-all bag.
SimplyGo Offers Continuous Flow and Pulse Dose Capabilities
Philips Respironics says that its SimplyGo portable oxygen concentrator is the only POC to offer continuous flow (up to 2 liters per minute) and pulse-dose delivery in a single device weighing 10 pounds or less. Designed to be rugged and easy-to-use, SimplyGo features a long-life compressor, lightweight and compact battery, high-impact resistant design and oversized cart wheels. Accessories include a carrying case, fold-up cart, easy-to-read screen and accessory bag.
This article originally appeared in the Respiratory & Sleep Management August 2012 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.