Portable oxygen concentrators, or POCs, are lightweight medical devices that dispense oxygen while being highly portable. They allow those prescribed medical oxygen to carry their own oxygen supply with them wherever they go, eliminating dependence on bulky and heavy oxygen tanks. The lightest POC on the market, the OxyGo FIT, weighs just 2.8 pounds. In the past decade POCs have made an enormous contribution to the effectiveness of oxygen delivery therapy. They are easier for patients to use and less expensive for providers to service. Before their development, patients needing oxygen at home depended on heavy oxygen tanks to dispense their oxygen. They were tethered to these tanks and could not leave home easily. Their only option to get out of the house was to attach themselves to smaller oxygen tanks on wheels and drag those tanks around with them. Such tanks can still be used today but they are obtrusive, call attention to the person using them and have restrictions as to where they can be taken. POCs have become an oxygen patient’s gateway to freedom. They do this by making their own oxygen from the air around them. POCs often enable oxygen patients to enjoy activities and exercises that were difficult or not possible while using oxygen tanks. This gives these patients a welcome sense of freedom that enhances their quality of life. Studies show that POCs help patients live longer lives by promoting mobility and exercise
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