Growing old often comes with health-threatening difficulties. Some of these challenges can jeopardize our expectations of enjoying a lovely old age. While some health issues that accompany old age are less consequential, others can be life-threatening. Thankfully, modern technology including portable oxygen machines helps us confront some of these challenges.
Threats to health often complicate breathing disorders. However, portable oxygen machines can assist those with hypoxia to get back to normal breathing.
Living with Hypoxia
Hypoxia is a deficiency that affects one’s ability to breathe comfortably, often alleviating the uncomfortable shortness of breath that comes along with this disease. The portable oxygen assistant makes it possible to breathe well again without having to stay put beside a life support machine, allowing those with hypoxia more comfort, freedom of movement, and a better lifestyle overall.
But which portable oxygen machine would be right for you?
When seeing the options for the first time, it can be hard to see which one might be best. The good news, however, is that you do not have to make this decision all by yourself. Here, this article highlights the best portable oxygen machines and their descriptions to help with your selection.
What is a Portable Oxygen Machine?
A portable oxygen machine, or a portable oxygen concentrator (POC), is a device that is often prescribed for people whose lungs can no longer filter in enough oxygen from natural air. The device functions similarly to the regular home oxygen machine. However, it allos them the freedom to move around with the concentrator.
The portable oxygen machine induces oxygen-enriched gases into its patients’ lungs to save them from having to struggle for oxygen whenever they breathe.
Can You Carry It?
Yes, you can carry this oxygen concentrator around while you go about your day.
Background of the Portable Oxygen Machine
Let’s dive back a little to see how the portable oxygen concentrator came about. This would help to further understand the relationship between portable and home oxygen machines.
The medical oxygen machine was introduced in the late 1970s in the form of a home oxygen assistant. It was intended as a continuous source of oxygen supply that didn’t require huge tanks and frequent refills. However, the idea of a portable concentrator that supports mobility was birthed early in the 2000s. This portable oxygen machine is sized per kg, and it is distributed according to the breathing rate of patients.
How Long Do Portable Oxygen Machines Last?
Portable oxygen concentrators are excellent for patients that need to keep up with active routines. But the question that many patients are curious about is how long the portable oxygen machine lasts? This will depend on the volume of the air compressor and the patient’s breathing rate. Other external factors like temperature, humidity, congestion, and the organization of the room can play a part too.
POCs are expected to provide alternative oxygen from about 8,000 to 10,000 hours of regular usage. Although the heavier home oxygen machines can last for up to 5,000 hours more; POCs stand out. They are much lighter and function almost as well. Portable oxygen machines also allow for greater mobility.
Does Medicare Cover Portable Concentrators?
Medicare is a recognized body in the United States responsible for caring for aging people above 65 years. It also assists younger people with terminal illnesses or disabilities.
Medicare helps by providing a suitable nursing facility for sick people and giving them regular checkups. But, is Medicare responsible for providing or purchasing POCs for patients that are under their care? Unfortunately not!
Medicare takes care of aging people by subsidizing their medical bills and helping them secure a doctor appointment. They render significant help by offering free counseling and consultation for their patients. The body also enlightens on how to use POCs and helps select the most suitable ones. However, they do not assume the responsibility of providing portable oxygen machines for patients.
What to Look for in a Portable Oxygen Machine
Portable oxygen machines are highly beneficial to people who need extra oxygen, as they give hypoxia patients a chance at living as comfortably as possible. But, you can only enjoy these benefits when you purchase a good POC. Here are some of the qualities and features to look for when acquiring a POC to ensure that you buy a suitable concentrator.
Portability: As the name implies, a POC must be portable. An oxygen concentrator that is not portable can’t be classified as a POC.
The portability feature allows patients to move around and go about their daily activities comfortably while using an oxygen machine. This implies that not only is the POC expected to be appropriately sized, but also must not weigh too much.
Filter: All oxygen machines are expected to have a filter that help keep dust and other particles from contaminating the oxygen provided. Nevertheless, you should check to ensure the POC you buy has a filter. A concentrator without a filter is not advisable.
Battery Life: Even the best gadgets and devices can’t function on an empty battery, and your POC is no different. You certainly do not want your portable oxygen device shutting down unexpectedly, especially at critical times like when you are away on a trip. So, you should only invest in an oxygen concentrator that lasts for at least three to five hours when fully charged.
Durability: Since you may not be able to replace your POC frequently, the durability feature of POCs is also very important. You should purchase from a manufacturer that gives a warranty on their devices. So, you can be assured of a replacement if the oxygen concentrator stops working before a specified time.
Check out for other qualities like less noise, alarm, display, and oxygen delivery options. They help to ensure that you get the best out of your portable oxygen concentrator.
Top 10 Portable Oxygen Concentrators in 2021
Today, there are different types of portable oxygen concentrators available from different manufacturers. While some of these brands are trusted, others may not be well known. Therefore, it becomes tricky selecting the right POC brand to go for and which to avoid. Here are the top portable oxygen machines available in 2021.
Product Reviews: Pros and Cons
- Inogen One G3: Inogen has been a reputable oxygen machine manufacturer and supplier for several decades. Their Inogen one G3 product has been voted as one of the best portable concentrators on different fronts. But the most notable fact about this device is its extreme light weight and portability.
|Audible Alert||Lacks continuous flow|
|Durable battery||Only has a standard filter|
2. Philips Respironics SimplyGo: Also widely considered one of the very best, Philips’ SimplyGo portable oxygen machine is sleekly crafted for continuous support. Its compact design makes it an oxygen concentrator you can count on.
|Multiple rechargeable batteries||Short battery life|
|Solid device casing||Makes too much noise|
|Durable||It is heavy|
|Allows continuous flow|
3. SeQual Eclipse 5: Eclipse 5 is one of the most improved oxygen concentrators available. It has a supreme oxygen setting and a battery life that can outmatch most POCs. Also, the device has a unique feature that allows it to function and charge simultaneously.
|Extended battery life||Not portable|
|Energy efficient||Can be noisy|
4. Oxlife Independence: Oxlife Independence is a patent of EnergySmart technology. With a very high-capacity battery, this device promises unlimited oxygen at all times for users. It also works efficiently at high altitudes, making it ideal for flights.
|High working capacity||Noisy|
|Durable||Not too portable|
5. Invacare Platinum: Talk about a high level of oxygen purity, and the Invacare platinum portable oxygen concentrator is your best bet. This device is very light and keeps noise levels minimal while supplying quality oxygen for users.
|Water-Resistant||Low working capacity|
|Lightweight||No alarm and display|
6. Airsep Freestyle 3: The Airsep Freestyle 3 is known for its portability and versatility. It is one of only a few portable oxygen machines that is so powerful. Interestingly, it does this while maintaining a lower noise level.
|Very light and portable||The battery does not last long|
|Easy to use||Very few smart features|
7. Airsep Focus: This is another Airsep product that boasts impressive lightweight technology and only weighs two pounds. The Airsep Focus portable oxygen machine is durable, with micro batteries that last for 3 hours when fully charged.
|Very portable||Fragile casing|
|Supports easy transportation||The battery does not last long|
|Relatively easy to use||Few smart features|
|Does not weigh too much|
8. Precision Medical EasyPulse: If you are looking for an affordable portable concentrator that delivers quality, you can count on Precision Medical EasyPulse to deliver just that. The device is a top-quality oxygen concentrator. It is also FAA approved, which means you can take it along on flights.
|Very Affordable||Very few smart features|
|Simple technology||The battery does not last long|
|Easy to use|
9. Inogen One G4: The Inogen One G3 was a success. However, the G4 model takes it a notch higher. It combines the qualities of the G3 with extra amenities.
|Multiple batteries with up to 5 hours battery life||No continuous flow|
|Functions with less noise|
|Includes multiple smart features|
10. ResMed Activox 4L:
This portable oxygen therapy device is both comfortable and efficient. Its advanced features include a long-lasting battery and a reliable oxygen filter. At 4.8 pounds, the Antivox 4L is considered light and averagely sized.
|Has a comprehensive digital display and alarm system||Noise and vibration|
|Functions with pulse flow||A little heavier|
|Long-lasting battery life||No continuous flow|
The portable oxygen machines listed above are some of the top options available in 2021. They are reviewed here to help you select your ideal one. What’s more? Each concentrator listed is equipped to serve you, depending on your preferences.
Meanwhile, oxygen output remains a top priority among the factors to consider when choosing an oxygen concentrator. However, you are advised to first visit your doctor to confirm which POCs are best for you.