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 Ryan Diesem is Research Manager at Valley Inspired Products, Apple Valley, MN. Contact Ryan at [email protected] com with questions or comments.

2018 Portable Oxygen Concentrator Guide

 Welcome to the 2018 version of our annual Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) Guide. One of the many questions we get on a regular basis as we approach

this issue is, “Is there a POC capable of 5 LPM continuous flow that is smaller than the continuous flow POCs now available?” Unfortunately, the answer is still “no”, and it’s especially disheart­ ening that we don’t even have a POC that can put out 5 LPM yet, let alone one that is smaller and lighter than anything currently out there. I really do hope that changes sooner rather than later, but if you are hoping to find a new POC that can produce more oxygen than any of the devices you may already be familiar with, I’m afraid we’re still not there yet. As for what is new, here are some changes of note from the 2017 version of the guide:

  • GCE released the 2 LPM continuous flow capable Zen­O™ POC and the intermittent flow Zen­O™ Lite POC shortly before last year’s guide was published and, unfortunately, we did not get the information until after However, both units are now represented here. The Zen­O™ can be most closely compared to the Respironics SimplyGo, while the Zen­O™ Lite can be most closely compared to the Inogen One G3.
  • There is another 2 LPM continuous flow­capable POC now on the market from Precision Medical, the EasyPulse TOC (Total Oxygen Concentrator). Unique features of the EasyPulse TOC include continuous flow settings of 1/8 LPM and 1/4 LPM and pulse setting specifications that match the delivery characteristics of Precision’s EasyPulse 5 intermittent flow POC pulse settings (meaning, for example, that you get the same oxygen delivery at a pulse setting of 2 on either device).

Much to our surprise at the end of 2017, CAIRE/SeQual discon­ tinued production of the SeQual Equinox POC, the smaller version of their Eclipse 5 POC, after only three years (meanwhile, the Eclipse line has been on the market since 2005). It’s a disappointing move, especially given it was the smallest 3 LPM continuous flow­ capable POC available, albeit comparatively more expensive as well. As a result, the Equinox has been removed from the guide for this year. If you have or are looking at an Equinox currently, do know that its oxygen production output and all available settings are exactly the same as on the Eclipse 5, so you can use that information for comparison purposes.

  • ResMed , which acquired Inova Labs and their Activox line of POCs in 2016, recently announced their Mobi POC for release some time this year. As far as we can tell, this ‘new’ POC is just going to be an update of the Inova Labs Activox™ 4L unit. Until the Mobi is made available, we will continue to publish the information for the Activox™ 4L as ResMed continues to sell and support the Activox™ 4L POC.
  • In 2016, the Inogen G3 was updated to provide additional oxygen production and pulse settings up to The 2016 and 2017 guides published information on both pre­ 0an16d vpeorsti­o2ns of the G3. Going

forward, we are only publishing information on the newer version of the G3. Information on the older G3 model (identifiable via a maximum pulse setting of 4) can be found in the older guides, though performance and output at pulse settings 1 to 4 are the exact same as on the new G3 from settings 1 to 4.

Understanding Guide Information:

  • Intermittent Flow POCs: These are POC units with pulse delivery settings only, and do not have any continuous flow delivery These units tend to weigh between 3 to 10 pounds when carryingall accessories.
  • Continuous Flow POCs: These are POC units that have both pulse delivery and continuous flow delivery The units tend to weigh between 10 to 20 pounds when carrying all accessories.
  • Maximum Oxygen Production: This is the maximum amount of oxygen the POC can produce in one Values are reported in milliliters (mL) per minute, or mL/min. In general, the smaller the POC, the less oxygen it can produce.
  • Available Settings: These are the ranges of pulse and continuous flow settings available on each All intermittent flow (pulse only) POCs have pulse settings only.
  • Pulse Delivery Type: This is the method of oxygen delivery that the POC employs when in pulse
  • Minute Volume Delivery: When set to a given pulse setting, the POC will produce a specific volume of oxygen per minute, regardless of the user’s breath As a result, the device will automatically reduce the pulse volume delivered per breath as the user’s breath rate rises. Users may need to increase the pulse setting when active to ensure they are getting enough oxygen per breath to maintain oxygen saturations generated while at rest.
  • Fixed Pulse Delivery: When set to a given pulse setting, the POC will deliver a fixed pulse of oxygen per breath, and maintains that volume no matter what the user’s breath rate All currently available POCs that generate 3000 mL/min of oxygen utilize fixed pulse delivery.
  • Combination Fixed/Minute: These POCs maintain a fixed pulse delivery method at a given setting up until the user’s breath rate exceeds the specified production capacity of the device at that setting, at which time the POC automatically begins reducing the pulse volume delivered the higher the user’s breath rate goes. This is currently only a published feature of the GCE and Respironics POCs.
  • Maximum Delivered Pulse Volume: This is the volume of oxygen delivered per pulse at the highest available setting on the POC, reported in milliliters (mL). All minute volume and combination fixed/minute volume delivery POCs have these values reported at a resting rate of 15 breaths per minute (BPM) and active rate of 30 BPM. All fixed pulse delivery POCs deliver the same volume at both 15 and 30 BPM, so only one volume value is shown in the
  • Unit & Battery (Approx.): This is the approximate weight of the base unit and one single This weight does not include any additional accessories (like power supplies or carts) and will be higher if the user installs a ‘double’ battery. In general, add 2 to 5 pounds for intermittent flow POC extra batteries and accessories, and 5 to 10 pounds for continuous flow capable POC extra batteries and accessories.
  • Approx. Battery Time at Pulse Setting 2: This is the amount of time a user might expect to be able to operate the POC on a full battery charge when the device is set to a 2 pulse setting, the most commonly prescribed setting. Battery operating times will decrease with an increase in pulse setting and respiratory rate. Batteries will lose the ability to hold a full charge the older they get and the more they are used, also reducing operating time.
  • Max. Altitude: This is the maximum recommended altitude in which to operate the POC without the POC losing the ability to perform within specification. The higher the altitude, the more the unit needs to ‘work’ to generate oxygen, which can reduce oxygen purity and battery operating times. Note: When traveling by plane, cabins are typically pressurized to simulate altitude of 8,000 to 10,000 feet.

In addition to the comparison guide, due to many questions about and requests for individual pulse volumes at each setting, we also offer a second table that shows how much oxygen is delivered and/or produced at each of the POC’s pulse settings. This table is meant to be useful when comparing the pulse volumes at a given setting between devices. It is important to remember that just because the POC is set to a 2 pulse setting, it does not mean that the user is getting 2 LPM of oxygen, nor does it mean that another device set to 2 will give the same volume. Looking closely at this table will help better understand the differences in pulse volumes delivered by POCs when set to the same pulse setting, as well as the maximum oxygen production capable of each POC.

Please note: All data in the chart is taken from product specifications, manufacturer supplied information, or other known entities. All effort has been made to ensure data is current and correct, but neither I nor The Pulmonary Paper make claims to its accuracy as products/specifications may have changed or data may have been erroneous. Please contact Ryan via email with any corrections or errors.