ResMed, one of the leading companies in the respiratory equipment industry, lives up to its reputation once again with the debut of its first portable oxygen concentrator, the Mobi.
As one of the most technologically advanced Continuous and BiLevel Positive Air Pressure (CPAP/BiPAP) sleep therapy manufacturers in the industry, ResMed has truly changed lives with every breath. Their award-winning machines have provided relief for over two decades to customers who struggle with sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions worldwide.
The San Diego-based company has revolutionized respiratory equipment through their cloud-connected devices which now serve an excess of four million customers, in order to better cater to the individual needs of their customers. CEO Michael Farrell has overseen the development and production of some of the most successful products on the market including the Astral, the AirFit 20, and the AirTouch F20, Now, ResMed is allowing their customers the freedom they deserve.
What is the Mobi?
The Mobi is ResMed’s first branded portable oxygen concentrator. While in-home devices are designed for a specific medical condition, the Mobi has been designed for the active chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) customer. This portable oxygen machine will weight less than five pounds. Combined with a lasting battery life and stylish carrying case, the lightweight concentrator allows customers to experience a new level of mobility at home or on the go. When traveling by car, it can easily be charged through the DC outlet. It is also FAA airline approved, making it perfect for the frequent airplane traveler.
According to CEO Michael Farrell, ResMed has “achieved great mobility, comfort and therapy quality in sleep apnea treatment with AirMini, the world’s smallest Positive Air Pressure (PAP) device. Mobi offers that same great balance to the many millions of people who rely on supplemental oxygen to enjoy their highest quality of life.”
The Mobi is ideal for active customers who frequently engage in physical activity or exercise, which is incredibly important for individuals dealing with COPD.
The ResMed Mobi portable oxygen system is projected to hit the market in the late second-quarter of 2018 and will be available to all U.S. patients through their Home Medical Equipment (HME) providers soon.
For many oxygen users, their first interest in a portable oxygen concentrator arises when they wish to travel by airplane. Whether for a vacation abroad, or a trip across the country to see their newest grandchild, oxygen users are no longer bound at home, but are free to travel the world. With manufacturers ensuring that their portable concentrators are approved by the FAA, air travel is now accessible for most oxygen users.
The FAA requires all airlines to allow the use of portable oxygen concentrators, but the airlines are not required to provide electricity to power your unit. Instead they require that you have sufficient battery power for the flight. Thus, when traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator one of the most important considerations is the number of batteries you will need for your flight.
Most airlines require sufficient battery power to last 150% of the flight time.For example, if the flight time is four hours then you would need six hours of battery time (4 x 150% = 6).
Once you determine how much battery time your flight requires, then you can calculate the number of batteries you will need. Let’s look at a couple examples.
Battery Example #1 – Inogen One G3
Flight time – 5 hours
Flow setting – Setting 2
First, let’s do the math for the flight: 5 hour flight x 150% = 7.5 hours of battery time required.
Now let’s look at our battery options: the Inogen One G3 offers an 8-cell battery that lasts 4 hours on setting 2, or a 16-cell battery that lasts 8 hours on setting 2. So for our flight we would need either two 8-cell batteries or one 16-cell battery.
Battery Example #2 – SeQual Eclipse 5
Flight time – 4 hours
Flow setting – Setting 2 LPM (continuous flow)
Again, let’s do the math for the flight: 4 hour flight x 150% = 6 hours of battery time required.
Now let’s look at our battery: the Eclipse battery lasts 2.3 hours at 2 LPM continuous flow so we will need 3 batteries (2.3 x 3 = 6.9).
Note: If the flow setting is 2 pulse, then the battery lasts 4.4 hours and only 2 batteries would be needed (4.4 x 2 = 8.8).
Additional Points to Consider
- While you may need oxygen only for a short time during your flight, airlines hold to a worst case scenario and assume that you will need oxygen during the entire flight, and they will not allow you to fly without sufficient battery power.
- Short layovers between connecting flights will not allow enough time to recharge used batteries so you need to add this additional time into your calculations.
- Be sure to use your DC power supply while driving to the airport so you do not prematurely drain your batteries. Also, as soon as you get through security, use the electrical charging station at the gate (or a plug on a wall) to keep your battery charged while waiting to board the airplane.
- Battery duration times provided by the manufacturers assume a new battery. As your batteries wear down over time you may need an additional battery to have sufficient battery power for your flight.
While the cost of purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator has come down over the past five years, it is still a big investment and often beyond the financial reach of those who need a portable unit. Purchasing a used portable concentrator can be an economical option and not terribly risky if you do your homework.
As with the purchase of any portable oxygen concentrator, the most important decision is determining which one is best for you. My series on choosing the best portable concentrator is a great place to start to help you think through the choices you must make when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator. In additional to oxygen output, size and weight, battery power and sound level, it is also veryimportant to consider the warranty and service you will receive from the dealer.
The Warranty Is King
When purchasing a used portable oxygen concentrator the warranty can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker. While many tend to overlook the warranty on used concentrators, the warranty is essential and actually gives the unit its value. Without a warranty, an oxygen concentrator has very little value because the minimum cost to repair a portable concentrator is usually between $500 and $900 and manufacturer repairs include only a 90-day warranty. You may think you’re getting a bargain up front and then find that repair costs eat up the difference you saved and then some.
The Dealer Holds the Warranty Keys
Be aware that the warranty for a portable concentrator is issued to the original purchaser, which is the authorized dealer that purchased the unit from the manufacturer. When you are purchasing a used concentrator from an authorized dealer be sure to ask about the warranty that comes with the unit. You should receive a warranty of about one year and never settle for less than ninety days. Also ask if the warranty can be longer than one year. Since manufacturers issue a 3-year warranty on new units, there may be more than one year remaining on the unit you are purchasing. Reputable companies will gladly increase the warranty from one year to the length of the original warranty.
When you are purchasing a used concentrator from an individual then doing your homework is even more important. Ask the seller the model and serial number of the unit, as well as information on the dealer from which they purchased it. Then contact the dealer and ask them about the warranty for the unit for a second-hand purchase. I have found only one dealer, OxiMedical, who will transfer the warranty internally from their original customer to another person. Without this internal warranty transfer, the warranty on the unit is essentially lost because the manufacturer will not do a warranty repair unless the original authorized dealer makes the request. There are exceptions to this, but only reputable dealers are willing to go the extra mile.
Try Before You Buy
If purchasing a used portable concentrator from an individual, request to try the unit before committing to purchase. You’ll want to make sure it is capable of producing the oxygen you’ll need and whether it meets your mobility and travel needs. I recommend using a fingertip pulse oximeter to check to your blood oxygen levels while sitting and walking.
If you are purchasing from an authorized dealer, you will first have to complete the purchase, but you should receive a trial period during which you can exchange the unit or pay a minimum restocking fee. Again, use a fingertip pulse oximeter to give the unit a good test.
Also be sure to test the batteries. If the unit is more than two years old the batteries may charge to only 50-80% of the original capacity. Depending on the model of the unit, new replacement batteries will cost between $200 and $500 each, so be prepared to have an additional expense at the time of purchase or within a year or two of purchase.
With a little homework up front, you can enjoy the benefit of a portable oxygen concentrator without paying full price. Enjoy!