Portable oxygen concentrators or POCs are becoming more efficient, more compact, more portable and more affordable all the time. What once was an oxygen system that provided you with enough battery life and oxygen to quickly run to the grocery store is becoming a more viable solution for all types of oxygen dependent patients. With recent advances in technology and battery life, some portable concentrators are now able to help certain patients spend more time with their families and friends, enjoy longer outings around town, and even travel across the country. Depending on your oxygen needs, a portable systems is probably not a single supplemental oxygen solution, but as technology continues to improve, these compact oxygen systems are becoming more popular among oxygen dependent patients.
With all the options available, we're often asked how to pick the right portable oxygen concentrator. This depends mostly on your oxygen requirements, but it's important to have an understanding of the different types of portable units available and the oxygen output you can expect from the machine you choose.
There are two types of portable oxygen concentrators available on the market today: Continuous flow oxygen concentrators and pulse dose, or intermittent flow, oxygen concentrators. These two types of oxygen systems have very different benefits and limitations and each is best suited for a specific type of patient. Understanding each machine's capabilities will help you to determine which portable concentrator is the best solution for you.