For seniors who need oxygen therapy, a portable oxygen concentrator is a very useful piece of hardware that can make life easier.
Oxygen concentrators are a safer, smaller, and less-hassle alternative to the oxygen tanks of old. They suck in air via an inlet filter, and then use a sieve bed to absorb nitrogen from the air, leaving it with a high oxygen saturation. From there it’s a simple step of attaching a tube and a nasal cannula or face mask so you can breathe in the oxygen.
Oxygen concentrators can be used around the clock, or only at times of need such as when exercising or traveling. Oxygen therapy is prescribed by a physician who will let you know how many LPM (liters per minute) of flow you need. They’ll also let you know whether you need a continuous or pulse dose (as the name suggests, the latter releases oxygen in a pulse, triggered when you breathe).
There are several well-known oxygen concentrator brands on the market today. Let’s take a look at one of the leading concentrator manufacturers: Respironics by Philips.
Who Is Philips?
Philips is a multinational corporation, with its headquarters in Amsterdam. Philips serves a worldwide market in electronic devices of all kinds, including lighting, stereos, and headphones. They also have a health division which manufactures medical alert systems, imaging systems, EEGs, blood pressure machines, automatic medication dispensers, and much more.
Philips was founded in 1892 as a producer of carbon-filament lamps. These days it employs over 77,000 people worldwide.
What is Philips Respironics All About?
Respironics is owned by Philips. They’re a medical supply company based in Pennsylvania. Respironics was founded in 1976, and merged with Philips in 2007. Today they employ over 4,000 people and specialize in manufacturing breathing aids, including BiPAP and CPAP machines, oxygen concentrators, infant apnea monitors and hospital ventilators.
The Respironics range includes both portable and stationary oxygen concentrators.
Where Can I Buy A Philips Respironics Machine?
Most major suppliers of oxygen concentrators carry at least one or two items from the Respironics line. These include sites such as SpryLyfe and Oxygen Concentrator Store.
We recommend purchasing from an established online store with good customer service, rather than from eBay or Amazon where you don’t get the same support. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to contact the store in question and have a chat with them. That way you can find out how well they know their stuff, and the level of support you can expect to receive.
How Much Can I Expect To Pay for a Philips Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
Prices do vary a bit between manufacturers, but in general you can expect to pay around $3000 for the SimplyGO, and $1500 – $2000 for the Everflo or Millennium (see below for model details.) Some stores offer financing plans to help spread the cost.
Do check to see if the store you’re buying from includes any accessories with their prices. Some include spare cannula for example, or extra batteries. Sometimes it’s worth paying a little more for a package that includes accessories, because you can often save money in the long run by doing so.
What Oxygen Concentrator Models Does Philips Offer?
Philips Respironics currently has four main models on the market.
SimplyGo is a portable oxygen concentrator that’s small and light enough to carry every day. The SimplyGO offers both pulse and continuous flow (many portable units offer pulse flow only), yet still only weighs 10 lbs. With a three-hour battery life, SimplyGo is ideal for seniors who want to stay active, but who need a choice of flow types too.
The SimplyGO Mini weighs in at a tiny 5lbs, and yet still packs in 4.5 hours of use before it needs a new battery (you can extend the battery life to 6 hours, though this adds a tiny bit of extra weight to the unit.) The SimplyGo Mini is a pulse dose unit designed to be small and light enough to take anywhere, and it’s FAA approved so it’s even suitable for taking on flights.
Millennium M10 Home Concentrator
The Millennium M10 is a stationary oxygen concentrator designed for use at home. It’s one of the most user-friendly high flow concentrators on the market, with fewer parts than most other concentrators in its class. The Millennium M10 can deliver up to 10 LPM of oxygen, making it a reliable option for those who need a higher dose.
The EverFlo Q is a small, quiet stationary oxygen concentrator. Its design is sleek and unobtrusive, with a sound level of just 40 decibels making it one of the quietest home concentrators on the market. The sound level is roughly the same or just slightly higher than most portable machines. The EverFlow Q delivers up to 5 LPM of oxygen on continuous flow. It only has two filters, making it easier to maintain than many similar units.
Philips Portable Oxygen Concentrator Reviews
We took a look online to find out what consumers are staying about Respironics.
What people loved: The sleek design of both the EverFlo and the SimplyGO and SimplyGO Mini attracted positive attention. It seems that whether you need portable oxygen to take out and about, or a stationary unit for use at home, Respironics units are small, quiet and unobtrusive enough to fit into your daily life. We also noticed that many customers found the range to be user-friendly and easy to maintain and use.
What people weren’t so keen on: The Respironics range seems to be generally well-liked. However, we did notice that a few people had a bit of trouble with customer service, such as a lack of clear communication, especially if a unit developed a fault. This only applied to a few reviews we saw though, and might not be an issue though if you go through a third party seller, as you’ll be dealing with them instead.
The verdict: Philips is a leader when it comes to innovation in the electronics industry, and their Respironics range is no different. The units are small, quiet, and user-friendly. Whether you need a small portable concentrator to take with you out and about, or a more powerful higher flow unit for use at home, the Respironics range is sure to have something that meets your needs.