Medical oxygen concentrators are considered as safer, easy to use and inexpensive devices compared to compressed oxygen cylinders. These devices are often prescribed to patients suffering from chronic pulmonary diseases such as severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Couple of decades ago, there were only stationary oxygen concentrators which were fairly bulky in size. These heavy oxygen concentrators limited the patient mobility and this problem was later solved by the development of portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) which allow free movement for the patient making it possible for oxygen patients to take their oxygen as and when required no matter wherever they wish to go. The commercially available portable medical oxygen concentrators weigh as less as 2-3 kg. Some of the commercially available medical oxygen concentrators include Airstep Freestyle, Delphi RS-00400, DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo, Inogen One G2 and Inogen One G3, Inova Labs LifeChoice Activox, Invacare XPO2, Respironics EverGo, and SeQual Eclipse. These devices are also used by mountaineers and people travelling to places where oxygen is inadequate amount. Inova labs recently introduced its new portable medical oxygen concentrator - LifeChoice Activox 4L which uses technology to track user’s inhalation rate and breathing pattern to deliver oxygen.
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The medical oxygen concentrators have been one of the most notable breakthrough developments in the long-term oxygen therapy support. An oxygen concentrator is an electrically operated medical device used to provide purified or concentrated oxygen to a patient seeking oxygen therapy. These devices work on principle of pumping air into the device which then separates oxygen and deliver it to patients in a continuous manner. Medical oxygen concentrators use rapid swing adsorption method in which atmospheric nitrogen is adsorbed on an adsorbent such as zeolite mineral leaving oxygen as the primary gas.
Some of the major factors expected to drive the market for medical oxygen concentrators include its ability to provide oxygen under all circumstances and worldwide aging population coupled with COPD and other respiratory diseases. Advantages associated with these devices such as they weigh less, easy to use and more affordable are also predicted to drive the market further. WHO suggests that approximately 65 million people are suffering from moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease across the globe. In 2005, an estimated 3 million people died because of COPD. North America was observed to be the leading markets in oxygen cylinder market because of the number of hospitals, large number of alternate care facilities and high consumption of portable medical oxygen concentrators. Europe region is second leading market for these devices due to high consumer awareness and approval by regulatory authorities of these regions. FAA (Federal aviation Administration) approved the onboard use of certain portable oxygen concentrator. In Asia-Pacific, Japan, India, China and Australia are the leaders in the market for medical oxygen concentrators. In Rest of the World (RoW), countries such as Mexico and Brazil witnessed market growth along with the countries in the Middle East countries. The market outlook for these devices is positive and the region is expected to witness a substantial growth in coming years due to continuously increasing healthcare expenditure in the region.
Some of the major companies operating in this market are Inogen, Inc., Teleflex Incorporated, Philips Healthcare (Philips Respironics), AirSep Corporation, DeVilbiss Healthcare, LLC, Invacare Corporation, O2Concepts, Covidien plc, Oxlife, Vygon, Nidek Medical, Inova Labs, OSI Systems, GE Healthcare, Smiths Medical and Teijin Limited.
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