Oxygen Therapy Advancement: POC Devices

The aim of the research project centred on management trends at the C-level, to ascertain the adoption of technology, an evolving leadership role, and get an In-depth look at technology utilization across industries including in Manufacturing, Banking, etc.The strain imposed on patients and society by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is massive. As the disease progresses, everyday living activities — from the most basic of tasks to more intensive activities — are limited, and the quality of life is reduced. COPD symptom worsens over time, reduces exercise tolerance, further restricting physical activity, and reducing health status.

 

The importance of identifying and treating deteriorating COPD symptoms is demonstrated by the adverse effect of these symptoms on the everyday life and quality of life activities of patients. Many of the patients included in the survey indicated that COPD restricts what they can do “some or a lot” in normal physical exertion (70%), lifestyle (58%), household tasks (56%), social interaction (53%), and sleep (50%). Patients have stated that COPD restricts their ability to work, some respondents reported that COPD keeps them out of work while indicated that COPD limits the amount or form of work they can do.

 

In a telephonic survey of COPD patients in North America and European countries, 36 percent of respondents indicated that their COPD prevented them from functioning, restricted their ability to work, or caused them to lose productive time in the past year. Additionally, significant functional limitations in sports and leisure, social events, household tasks, sex life, and COPD-related family activities were indicated

Treatments: Uncurable, but life long support

Patients of COPD and extreme hypoxemia have majorly benefitted in terms of life expectancy with the prolonged use of Home Oxygen Therapies. This treatment method aims at increasing the amount of oxygen that is received by the lungs and in turn delivered to the blood flow. The channels of delivery can vary from the face, nose, mouth to the trachea, etc. In severe cases of COPD simultaneously indicating low levels of oxygen in the blood- the delivery of oxygen into the system by external means will make breathing easier and hence granting a longer life.

 

There exist multiple modalities for the delivery of oxygen to the system which usually is prescribed either by the choice of the patient or the need as understood by the physician. These modalities include:

 

  •     Oxygen concentrators.
  •     Oxygen-gas cylinders.
  •     Liquid-oxygen devices.

Oxygen Concentrators- Advancements

Looking back to almost a decade or just five years back right to the present days, it goes without saying that there has been tremendous growth and advancements in terms of portable oxygen concentrators be it about the technology or the feasibility of the device. This change is ever-growing. Standing here in the year 2020, these devices are considerably small, easy to carry given their weight, and also very durable. The battery life of these devices has improved manifolds over the past many years and most importantly provides a continuous flow of oxygen to a concentration of lost 92 percent and even more for some devices. These advancements stand on the front foot when talking about the developing trends of POC devices.

 

Patients and clinicians, all want smaller, lighter, safer devices with higher oxygen consumption and better battery life while you speak with them. Suppliers want all that and seek more longevity, quality, and a relatively low cost of course. Many of these requested features are often conflicting for the moment; as you move in one direction, it harms another feature. POCs face a daunting technical challenge; they are living an oxygen cylinder’s harsh existence, and have the technological complexity of more sophisticated and costly medical devices.

 

Patients’ desire to be free will serve to inspire the future of oxygen technology. The sovereignty the POC provides the patient with as the greatest benefit — the freedom to travel, drive, or boat without worrying about running out of oxygen. Independence also stems from the oxygen manufacturer not waiting for deliveries. All of this allows the patients the ability to feel comfortable again.

Long Term Oxygen Therapy- The market scenario

A core aspect of long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) remains the function of advanced, portable oxygen devices. Clinically, improved therapy compliance coupled with increased activity and ambulation has been shown to increase the life expectancy of LTOT patients. Modern LTOT patients are more active and informed about their choices, just like many of the doctors who prescribe oxygen. Of the choices available today for portable oxygen products, POCs are probably getting the most coverage. The popularity continues to rise among patients, prescribers, and suppliers.

The POC market is the fastest-growing segment within the oxygen therapy market, and there is sustained high demand and double-digit growth for the smallest and lightest POCs.

 

Patients with oxygen are particularly responsive to the weight of portable oxygen systems, and lighter POCs offer greater patient acceptance. Wearable POCs are in the most desirable class, at less than five pounds. Transportable oxygen concentrators (TOCs) can provide both pulse and continuous oxygen supply, but they are considerably larger and heavier than wearable POCs (by a factor of 4-5 times). So carts are a prerequisite to switch these 15-pound devices to 20-pound devices. Because most patients with COPD do not use continuous flow during ambulation, TOCs stress excessive weight on the oxygen user.

 

POCs seem to be the least expensive model for delivering portable oxygen as the equipment could help to serve patient needs. Often driving factors are the reliability and total cost of the equipment. POCs offer a marketing advantage over other portable equipment due to additional benefits for patients, including unscheduled travel, air travel, and being able to stay out for longer without fear of running out of oxygen.

Portable oxygen technology is constantly evolving and improving, with POCs at the heart of progress. Yet even as demand for these tools increases, innovation seems to come with a give and take.

 

The competitive bid landscape places both manufacturer and supplier in a challenging position. The advances in technology cost money. As oxygen reimbursements drop, providers are searching for the least costly way to provide the treatment. But if the cost of advanced technologies exceeds coverage, there could potentially be some amazing developments that could help patients to deal better with their state of disease.

Some of the main factors are the shifting global healthcare system, the increasing number of COPD patients and other cardiopulmonary conditions, healthcare consumerism, and the shifts to providing healthcare beyond the hospital walls.

Oxygen Therapy- Tomorrow

Future oxygen systems will continue to concentrate on clinically sound therapy, but much more technology and intelligence can be integrated into the design. Data will continue to grow in importance in a potential clinical world of evidence-based treatment, compliance, and results. At the same time, when providers face higher operational costs and lower fees, the technology will need to be smarter and continue to reduce unnecessary and costly non-valuable activities.


The most significant message at the end of the day is to ensure the chosen oxygen equipment meets the needs of the patient in terms of clinical and lifestyle. The significant variation in device performance (maximum oxygen production, pulse-dose technique, etc.), particularly among POCs and oxygen-conserving devices means providers and clinicians need to use their experience and clinical expertise to ensure that patients obtain a device that is clinically acceptable and efficient.


Trends will depend on the abilities of suppliers and manufacturers as per they micromanage new technology’s costs and benefits to reduce the overall cost of providing oxygen.