Portable Oxygen Concentrators – A history

In: Oxygen Therapy

6 Apr 2010

The first portable oxygen concentrators that were truly portable did not show up on the market until about the year 2000.  Prior to that, oxygen concentrators for home medical use, like the units pioneered by John Bunn, weighed in at about 50 pounds plus.  Patients used portable cylinders, either gas or liquid filled to maintain their prescription while on the go.  As the benefits of oxygen therapy became apparent with increased patient longevity, and further studies showed ambulatory oxygen patients outlived non ambulatory oxygen patients, pioneering companies began to develop portable oxygen concentrators that could perform both functions.

The initial entries into the market failed to capture any real marketplace.  Primarily because the units were initially priced around $10,000, were limited to pulse only oxygen delivery, and were not rated to an operating elevation equal to that of a pressurized airplane (about 8,ooo feet).  While the manufacturers of these initial units pushed pretty hard they could not overcome the problems in penetrating the market.  As other manufacturers released their products into the portable market, innovation and technology, and learning from the mistakes of the first generation of portable oxygen concentrators brought about great improvements, reduction in price, and the functionality that we are seeing improved upon today.

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If you have any questions about oxygen concentrators, liquid oxygen, portable oxygen, you have come to the right place. Whether you are lookiing to buy a POC, rent a POC for a trip, or understand how what that alarm means, you have come to the right place. Since 1992 we have immerseed in all things Oxygen Therapy, here you will find not only a users perspective, you will find the technicians perspective! Welcome!!