September 1, 2015 – The US military’s Defense Health Program awarded a contract to Reactive Innovations to develop an oxygen concentrator for injured soldier use. Expeditionary medicine requirements of the military require a portable O2 generator for the stabilization of injured warfighters. To help save soldiers’ lives, it is desired for medics to provide O2 enriched gas from a hand-held, portable device that concentrates the O2 from air. Adsorption based oxygen concentrators using compressors can be heavy and noisy while high temperature ceramic-based electrochemical oxygen concentrators require too high of a temperature and have difficulties surviving shocks. Improved systems are needed that are amenable to operating in the field while maintaining portability, low weight, and ease of operation. Toward these goals, Reactive Innovations, LLC is modifying its oxygen concentrator technology toward a military grade medical O2 concentrator that significantly improves the mass, volume, and power metrics for a field operable system.
Beyond military needs, there is a growing need for ambulatory oxygen respiratory systems to enable patients to lead normal and productive lives. Supplemental oxygen is necessary for patients suffering from lung diseases including pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis, as well as other ailments that weaken the respiratory system such as heart disease. Over 6 million people in the US alone are afflicted by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease where oxygen therapy is prescribed. The US market for pulse and continuous oxygen concentrators for portable medical oxygen systems was over $226M in 2013. With the aging Baby Boomers desiring to maintain an active lifestyle, they are driving this portable oxygen concentrator market to a 2019 $1.5B level.