CAIRE® Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Launch of the First Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Niterra Australia Pty Ltd
Tuesday, 07 November, 2023

CAIRE® Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Launch of the First Portable Oxygen Concentrator

LifeStyle™ Technology Forever Changed the Way Oxygen Users Live Their Lives

Two decades ago, oxygen users all over the world had two therapeutic options for mobility — gas cylinders or a portable liquid oxygen device. Many lived life tethered to an at-home oxygen source, and were very limited in their ability to travel or maintain a healthy level of activity. That changed with the launch of the first portable oxygen concentrator, the LifeStyle — developed and marketed by CAIRE — dramatically improving the quality of life for oxygen users worldwide.

“For us, pioneering the first portable oxygen concentrator has long been both a point of pride, and an ongoing incentive to continue to innovate and develop those technologies that will ensure clinically efficacious oxygen delivery and an improved quality of life for all of our users around the world,” said Earl Lawson, CEO of CAIRE Inc.

Introduced under CAIRE’s AirSep® brand, the LifeStyle portable oxygen concentrator was the brainchild of then Vice President of Research and Development, Norman “Norm” McCombs, who modeled the size and weight of the device on his wife’s handbag which weighed in at 4.42kg.

Harnessing specialized technology to separate the components of air, the portable oxygen concentrator operates by taking ambient air, filtering and compressing it and then delivering up to 95 percent purified oxygen to the user via a nasal cannula. Operational via battery, electrical, or motor vehicle power, the device allowed the user the convenience of taking their oxygen source anywhere, with the ability to plug-in and recharge extending their time away from home and encouraging them to live an active lifestyle with few restrictions.

The LifeStyle would be the first POC to gain FAA approval for commercial air flights in 2005, paving the way for all POCs that would come after.

McCombs was recognized for his contributions by US President Barack Obama in 2013 who presented him with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at the White House. The award acknowledged McCombs’s development and commercialisation of pressure swing adsorption oxygen-supply systems with a wide range of medical and commercial applications, leading to improved health, substantially reduced healthcare costs and positive impacts on the environment.

The LifeStyle paved the way for the FreeStyle series, and the world’s smallest portable oxygen concentrator, the Focus. These products lead the way in innovations in portable oxygen concentrators — lighter weight, expanded settings, clinical features — culminating in today’s FreeStyle Comfort. Introduced in 2018, this therapeutic medical device expands on the innovations of the past 20 years — recently outperforming six competitive devices in seven out of eight breathing scenarios through a COPD simulated protocol designed to assess the ability of these devices to effectively deliver oxygen to patients.1

Equipped with proprietary, smart oxygen delivery technologies, the FreeStyle Comfort is designed to ensure effective oxygen delivery to best support long-term oxygen therapy patients maintain an active, healthy, and fulfilled lifestyle.

UltraSense® technology detects the pressure change in the nasal cannula as the patient takes a breath and ensures that the bolus, or puff of oxygen, is delivered in conjunction with the breath rate, and autoDOSE responsive technology delivers oxygen automatically even if no breath is detected.

Outside the US, the FreeStyle Comfort comes equipped with autoSAT®, the only technology that is clinically proven to maintain a patient’s oxygen saturation over 90 percent during exertion.2 Many name brand portable oxygen concentrators are designed to deliver less oxygen as the patient’s breath rate increases, while autoSAT maintains the consistent therapeutic dose of oxygen no matter the breath rate.

Additionally, the FreeStyle Comfort can wirelessly connect to the myCAIRE™ telehealth solution uniquely designed for medical equipment providers who want to enhance care for their oxygen users.

About CAIRE Inc.

Global oxygen equipment manufacturer CAIRE Inc. is a leader in pioneering technologies and innovating market solutions in support of long-term health and wellness, as well as industrial applications to benefit commercial enterprise. Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the LifeStyle portable oxygen concentrator — the first of its kind and the medical device that forever transformed the lives of those prescribed oxygen therapy. This achievement and our legacy of expertise are cornerstones of CAIRE’s time-proven portfolio of brands encompassing respiratory care diagnosis equipment; oxygen therapy devices designed for portable, at-home and military use; and turnkey on-site generation solutions for medical, commercial and environmental applications.


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