Unlike traditional, bulky, oxygen tanks, oxygen concentrators are light-weight and portable. Concentrators pull oxygen from the surrounding air, so you don’t have to worry about delivery of refill tanks. Instead, room air passes into the unit, oxygen is separated from the nitrogen in the air, and the unit delivers a high flow of oxygen directly to the user. This type of oxygen unit allows the patient freedom of movement and a much more active lifestyle than an old-fashioned tank. Today let’s compare two portable oxygen machines: the Inogen One G3 and the LifeChoice ActivOx. Both allow for portability, but vary in specs.
The Inogen One G3 is one of the smallest sized portable oxygen concentrators on the market, measuring in at 7.25 x 3 x 8.75 inches. The Inogen One G3 is also a very lightweight unit, at 4.8 pounds.
The Inogen One G3 delivers five pulse flow options, with setting from one to five. It allows the user to control the level of oxygen delivery through push-button up and down arrows. The battery life is shown on an LED display, which can be backlit. The Inogen One G3 also has an optional alarm button that will offer an audio and visual alert when no breath is detected for 60 seconds.
The Inogen One G3 comes with a single battery that lasts four and a half hours or a double battery that lasts up to nine hours. It can be plugged into an AC or DC power supply. It is also relatively quiet; the Inogen One G3 produces less than 39 decibels of noise.
The Inogen One G3 comes with a carrying bag with a shoulder strap. An optional backpack is available for the Inogen One G3 unit. The Inogen comes with a three-year warranty on the unit, and a three-month warranty on accessories.
At 4.3 pounds, the LifeChoice ActivOx weighs just slightly less than the Inogen One G3. The LifeChoice ActivOx is larger than the Inogen One G3, measuring 9.05 x 4.38 x 7.9 inches.
One of the unique features of the LifeChoice ActivOx is its powerful internal battery, which lasts five, seven, or twelve hours depending on which setting (1, 2, or 3) is chosen. In addition, the LifeChoice ActivOx comes with an external battery that can add another three hours of battery life. This means the LifeChoice ActivOx can last six hours longer than the Inogen One G3. The external battery, which can be worn at the belt line, weighs just two pounds. The LifeChoice ActivOx can be powered with an AC or DC power supply, just like the Inogen One G3.
The LifeChoice ActivOx has a soft power button that lights up when the unit is activated. It’s display unit also features an alarm indicator, a display screen that indicates the oxygen setting and available battery life, a mute button, and a circular navigation control that allows the user to toggle the pulse setting between one and four using a plus/minus system. The display unit on the LifeChoice ActivOx system also has a breath detection symbol that lights up when a breath is detected and oxygen is delivered. This is part of the unit’s PULSE-WAVE™ system, which continuously delivers oxygen and is more sensitive to the patient’s needs during sleep.
The LifeChoice ActivOx features a four-way carry case, so that the unit can be carried as a backpack, like a briefcase, with a shoulder strap, or around the waist.
Operating at 41-46 decibels, the LifeChoice ActivOx is just slightly louder than the Inogen One G3, depending on the level of power at which you operate it.
Both the LIfeChoice ActivOx and the Inogen One G3 deliver oxygen at about 90 percent and are FAA approved for air travel. The LifeChoice ActivOx also offers a similar three-year warranty on the unit.