Oxygen equipment manufacturer CAIRE is celebrating a landmark achievement for its portable oxygen technology.

Having launched its first portable oxygen concentrator (POC) 20 years ago, the LifeStyle – released under its AirSep brand – was conceptualised by Norman ‘Norm’ McCombs, then-Vice President of Research and Development, who modelled the devices’ dimensions on his wife’s 9.75 lb handbag. 

Since then, the LifeStyle became the first POC to gain FAA approval for commercial air flights and, in 2013, McCombs was formally recognised for his contributions to industry by US President Barack Obama. 

The technology works by taking in ambient air, filtering it to separate it into its constituent components before oxygen is compressed and delivered at 95% purity to the user via a nasal cannula. 

With portability a key factor, the plug-and-play nature of the POC allows it to work via battery, electrical, or motor vehicle power. 

Commenting on the technology’s success, Earl Lawson, CEO, CAIRE, said, “For us, pioneering the first POC 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.” 

Introduced in 2018, the FreeStyle Comfort has taken the company’s 20 years of POC innovation to provide a device equipped with smart oxygen delivery technologies, capable of outperforming six competitive devices in seven out of eight breathing scenarios through a COPD simulated protocol. 

The smart delivery consists of the company’s UltraSense technology, which detects pressure changes in the nasal cannula as the patient inhales and ensures that the puff of oxygen is delivered in sync with the breath rate. If no breath is detected, the device automatically delivers oxygen through its autoDOSE technology.