By emphasizing mobility and therapeutic value, manufacturers of supplemental oxygen delivery systems continue to provide patients with more options and more freedom to integrate the therapy into their lives.

By Karen Appold

The most recent offerings in oxygen delivery products are continuing the industry’s emphasis on smaller, lighter, and more reliable technology. Some devices even offer features that have never been seen before, such as the market’s first fully integrated stationary and portable oxygen concentrator (POC) system. Together, manufacturers are providing patients with more options and more freedom to integrate their oxygen therapy into their lives, a fact that improves compliance, outcomes, and quality of life.


The newly updated DeVilbiss 525 Series Stationary 5 Liter oxygen concentrator provides enhancements centered around quality, durability, patient safety, and quiet operation. “The compressor features upgraded long-life cup seals for significantly longer operation while the sieve bed construction utilizes a proprietary sieve material blend that extends the sieve bed life,” said Jim Clement, director of product development, Respiratory Solutions, DeVilbiss Healthcare (Somerset, Pa).

The 525 Series also meets recently updated International Organization for Standardization (ISO) regulations that call for a “firestop” oxygen outlet to provide added patient safety. The new design is significantly quieter than previous generations of oxygen concentrators, according to Clement, and it features an updated cabinet material that resists marring. In additon, it offers internal structural improvements that prevent damage caused by frequent handling, shipping, and use.

Activox DUO2 is the first fully integrated stationary and portable oxygen concentrator system. It combines the benefits of a home-use stationary concentrator with the portability of Inova Labs’ best-in-class LifeChoice Activox POC, into one integrated system. “Together, the two components use the latest technology to communicate seamlessly with each other and record important service-related events,” said Keith James, vice president of marketing, Inova Labs (Austin, Tex). “This innovative system helps cut costs across the board, reduce maintenance concerns, and eliminate deliveries.”

Activox DUO2 offers up to 5 LPM continuous flow oxygen for patients at home and up to 3 LPMeq PULSE-WAVE oxygen delivery via the POC for active patients outside the home. “With the POC, patients can enjoy up to 12.5 hours of internal battery life while away from home,” James said. “When it is time to recharge, simply connect the Activox POC to the stationary base,” which can recharge both the internal and external batteries.

The device also comes equipped with data reporting capabilities in order to improve service and system monitoring, James added.

The SimplyGo portable oxygen concentrator from Philips Respironics is the only POC to offer continuous flow and pulse-dose delivery in a single device weighing only 10 pounds. “With more than twice the oxygen output of any POC of this weight, it was designed to keep up with active patients’ portable oxygen needs,” said Eli Diacopoulos, general manager, Respiratory Care, Philips Respironics (Murrysville, Pa).

For oxygen patients who need higher pulse settings at night, SimplyGo’s Sleep mode provides increased trigger sensitivity and a softer pulse for comfort. SimplyGo comes with a carrying case with shoulder strap and spare-battery pocket, detachable accessories bag, fold-up cart with oversized wheels, lithium ion battery, and standard AC/DC power cords. In addtion, it is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to give patients the freedom to travel by air.

With a long-life compressor, a high-impact resistant design, and oversized cart wheels, SimplyGo offers patients a rugged, durable option for ambulatory oxygen. “During development, SimplyGo was rigorously tested and subjected to extreme conditions including impacts, vibrations, and temperatures to deliver reliable performance,” Diacopoulos explained. It helps home care providers ease inventory management, use less shelf space, reduce maintenance cost, minimize patient calls, and eliminate recurring oxygen delivery.


The Oxygen Conserver Test System by Hans Rudolph Inc (Shawnee, Kan) is designed to functionally test oxygen conserver systems. This applies to devices that are mounted on a high pressure bottle or a liquid oxygen source as well as portable concentrators. “The system can be used to test devices in a production line using an automated series of tests or can be used in a manual mode for checking conserver devices in a field service office, home care dealer’s office, or hospital biomed lab,” said HRI’s president, Kelly Rudolph.

When a conserver device is no longer needed in a home care setting, it is returned to the dealer. Before sending it out to the next customer, it should be checked to ensure proper functionality. If a customer reports that a device is not working properly, home care dealers should check it. “This would save time in sending it back to the manufacturer if the device can be shown to trigger properly and deliver the correct oxygen dose,” he said. In addition to its testing capabilities, Rudolph added that there are opportunities to educate doctors and therapists who prescribe these devices or teach patients how to use them.

The SmartDose Mini CTOX-MN02 from Drive Medical (Port Washington, NY) is an auto-adjusting electronic conserver that continuously monitors breath rate and adjusts the oxygen dose to match activity at every breath. “Auto-adjusting conservers are the future of oxygen therapy, optimizing both patient saturation and maximizing conservation,” said Kiran Shetty, director of marketing, Respiratory, Drive Medical.

During use, the SmartDose will increase the preset rest setting by as much as two settings in order to match the dose to patient need. With equivalent liter flows from 1 to 5, a minimum battery life of up to 1 year with two AA batteries, and an operating pressure from 500 to 3,000 PSI, the SmartDose accommodates a wide range of patient needs, and yet still weighs less than 16 oz (with batteries).

Delivery Devices

Fisher & Paykel’s (Irvine, Calif) Optiflow, powered by AIRVO, comfortably delivers up to 60 LPM of heated, humidified oxygen. The device offers a range of flows and concentrations and can be used for all patient types and settings. “Optiflow provides respiratory support, airway hydration, and patient comfort with the goal to optimize the oxygenation of spontaneously breathing patients,” said Brian Groskopf, senior marketing manager, CareFusion (the exclusive US distributor of Fisher & Paykel’s Optiflow products).

Its open system does not require a seal and, because the patient interface is a nasal cannula, patient comfort is improved, which also increases therapy compliance while reducing the intensity of care. According to Groskopf, the device may enable clinicians to transition patients out of the intensive care unit faster and may prevent readmission, both of which support efforts to reduce the total cost of care.

The MaxVenturi oxygen blender from Maxtec (Salt Lake City) is equipped with a built-in oxygen analyzer, allowing users to blend ambient air and oxygen accurately. The MaxVenturi was designed specifically to interface with high flow humidification systems and has the ability to offer a large Fio2 range and a number of flow rates. Due to its design, the MaxVenturi costs little to operate. “Every 4 years, two valve cartridges are the only components that need to be replaced—which can be done in the field,” said Brian Laycock, RRT, business development/clinical specialist for Maxtec.

The MaxVenturi is primarily used in hospitals, long-term acute care, and extended care facilities. “It is ideal for emergency rooms because of its quick and easy setup,” Laycock said. “In recovery rooms and patient floors, it can power everything from high flow interfaces to simple trach and aerosol masks.”

VPAP COPD with ClimateLineMAX Oxy tubing by ResMed (San Diego) is the first device specifically designed for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment and can be reimbursed through Medicare. ClimateLineMAX Oxy tubing connects to the back of the device, to easily integrate oxygen into a patient’s therapy, allowing it to completely mix with warmed, humidified air.

“Treatment with non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has been shown to decrease the number of exacerbations that patients experience, saving both the patient and the healthcare system money,” said William Ross, senior manager of respiratory care for ResMed. “The device is used in the home and at night, which helps patients continue therapy when they are most vulnerable to acute exacerbations.”

VPAP COPD is part of ResMed’s COPD therapy solution and can sync wirelessly to ResMed’s secure, cloud-based EasyCare Online remote monitoring system. EasyCare Online gives hospitals and physicians access to critical respiratory parameters such as respiratory rate, tidal volume, and compliance data, providing insight into patient therapy.

Systems, Interfaces, and Masks

Southmedic Inc’s (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) adult OxyMulti mask and pediatric OxyMulti Kid Ultra mask offer healthcare providers a comprehensive, simple, and effective oxygen equipment alternative that can give continuity of care from first responder to home care. The masks eliminate the need to switch between low-flow and high-flow interfaces or to a high humidity or nebulizer medication system.

The OxyMulti masks also improve patient safety by allowing continuous titrated oxygen treatment through a wide range of Fio2 settings—OxyMulti Mask (23% to 83%) and OxyMulti Kid Ultra mask (22% to 93%)—while significantly reducing the probability of CO2 rebreathing at low flows and intrinsic positive end expiratory pressure at higher levels. “If high humidity or aerosol medication is needed, the same masks can provide either, with minimal risk of O2 desaturation due to equipment changes,” said Tami Clark, director of marketing, Southmedic Inc. “The masks’ open design reduces claustrophobia and patient need for removal, while enabling clear communication during oxygen therapy.”

The risk of aspiration pneumonia is reduced, and it allows easy access to patients for suctioning, drinking, oral medications, or bronchoscopy. Suitable for nose or mouth breathers, there is no need for a tight, pressurized fit to maintain FiO2, according to Southmedic. In addition, biocompatible material reduces the risk of skin irritation, while aerosol medication is directed toward the nose and mouth, not the eyes. “By moving from numerous oxygen provision devices to one, many healthcare providers are already increasing patient safety, compliance, and comfort, which are all significant operational signposts on the road to high-quality, cost-effective medical care,” Clark said.

The HomeFill Oxygen System from Invacare (Elyria, Ohio) provides an unlimited supply of ambulatory oxygen and allows patients to fill their own cylinders for 5 L to 10 L concentrators. The system allows the patient to breathe at home from a continuous flow concentrator and then use a convenient ambulatory pack when away from home. Patient protection features ensure oxygen purity in the cylinders is always greater than 90%.

A number of different cylinder options are available to better meet patient needs, while providers benefit because they can reduce costs by eliminating cylinder deliveries. “To make ordering easier, Invacare bundles many of these options into HomeFill kits, which can be ordered using a single item number,” said Mike Irvine, business manager for Invacare. The system kits include a HomeFill compressor, ready rack, and options for cylinders. Some even include a concentrator or conserver.


Karen Appold is a contributing writer to RT. For further information, contact [email protected].