It’s a new year and a new decade which means it’s time to start working on those resolutions you’ve been planning in 2019. For some of us, that means getting to the gym more often or creating a more solidified financial plan. But if you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treating your condition might be at the core of your resolutions.
While COPD is an incurable disease, the good news is that there are virtually endless ways to treat it and improve your life. By making adjustments to your lifestyle, crafting a flawless COPD action plan, and taking time to reevaluate your goals, you’ll be well on your way to living a more healthy and productive life.
Another thing you should consider doing in 2020 is replacing that old oxygen tank, liquid oxygen tank, or home oxygen concentrator you’ve been using. Medical oxygen technology has come a long way in the past couple of years, so you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of options available to you. If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend upgrading to a portable oxygen concentrator.
Portable oxygen concentrators use something called pulse dose technology. Rather than putting out a constant stream of oxygen like an oxygen tank or continuous flow oxygen concentrator, pulse dose only delivers oxygen when you inhale. Because pulse flow concentrators require less processing power, oxygen device manufacturers are able to make them much smaller and lighter than their counterparts.
Oxlife Freedom Overview
The Oxlife Freedom is one of two portable oxygen concentrators released by O2 Concepts. This company was founded with the goal of providing oxygen patients with a better solution to their needs that doesn’t involve lugging around a heavy oxygen tank. To accomplish this, they released the Oxlife Freedom and the Oxlife Independence.
The Oxlife Independence is a continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator praised for its high oxygen output, lightweight design, and FAA approval. In many ways, the Oxlife Freedom is the pulse flow alternative to the Oxlife Independence offering two distinct ways to experience freedom in your daily life, based on what your oxygen needs are.
One notable feature of both units is something called Dynamic Network Analysis® (DNA). This is a service that links all O2 Concepts oxygen concentrators to one secure, proprietary network. This system automatically manages your oxygen usage, equipment status such as oxygen purity and temperature, as well as important maintenance information.
Inogen One G5 Overview
Much like O2 Concepts, Inogen was founded with the mission to provide oxygen users with reliable portable oxygen that can be transported anywhere with ease. Since the early 2000s, Inogen has released one home oxygen concentrator: the Inogen at Home and five pulse flow oxygen concentrators. The latest pulse flow unit is the Inogen One G5 which was released in the summer of 2019.
Inogen never shies away from producing feature-rich and industry-leading portable oxygen concentrators. In fact, oxygen retailers and oxygen patients across the world eagerly await the release of new Inogen products because they know it will be a reliable device that they can use for years to come. The Inogen One G5 is considered by many to be the best POC on the market with the longest external battery life and the highest oxygen output of any pulse flow unit.
Each time we do a portable oxygen concentrator comparison, we always start with oxygen output. This is always the most important aspect of a POC because if your oxygen needs aren’t met, you’re going to need to find a unit that does meet them. One important thing to note is that pulse flow concentrators are not measured the same was as continuous flow ones. Continuous flow POCs are measured in liters per minute (LPM) and pulse flow concentrators are measured in pulse flow settings or maximum oxygen output.
At this point in time, the Inogen One G5 has the highest oxygen output of any pulse flow POC on the market. The G5 is the only pulse flow machine that goes up to a setting of 6 with a total oxygen output of 1260 ml/min of 90% (+6%/-3%) oxygen. This is the equivalent of 210 ml for each pulse flow setting. Although the Oxlife Freedom does not provide as high of an oxygen output as the G5, it puts out a respectable 44 ml per bolus (breath). At a normal breathing rate of 20 breaths per minute (BPM), that’s about 880 ml/min. If your breathing rate increases, the size of each bolus will decrease.
For the large majority of patients, the Inogen One G5 and the Oxlife Freedom will provide enough oxygen for day-to-day use. However, it’s important to note that the G5 provides more wiggle room in case your symptoms worsen. As you’re likely aware, COPD is a progressive disease meaning it slowly gets worse over time. The G5 will ensure that you still have a reliable medical oxygen machine for years to come.
Whether you’re going for a quick trip to the store or a vacation out of the country, you need enough battery life to keep you going. For many patients, this is the biggest concern because they don’t want to deal with the anxiety of rushing home to plug in their oxygen concentrator. You’ll be happy to know that both the Oxlife Freedom and Inogen G5 offer ample battery life. However, there are a few things to take note of.
Both the G5 and Oxlife Freedom come with a single-cell battery. The G5 comes with up to 6.5 hours of battery life on a setting of 1 and the Oxlife Freedom comes with a 5-hour battery life on a setting of one. With the double battery, this is increased to 13 hours with the G5 and 10 hours with the Oxlife Freedom. So if you’re looking for as much freedom as possible, the G5 should be your first choice. If you’re not planning on being out of the house for long, then either concentrator will work for you.
No matter where you go with your portable oxygen generator or how long you’re out, weight is always a factor. A heavy unit can cause back pain and maybe even require you to use a higher flow setting than you’re used to. Fortunately, the G5 and Oxlife Freedom can easily be carried on your shoulder without the need of a carrying cart.
With the single-cell battery attached, the Oxlife Freedom weighs 5 pounds and the G5 weighs 4.7 pounds. While this may sound significant it’s fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. However, once again, it will depend on your situation and what you’re expecting out of your portable oxygen concentrator.
If your goal is to travel, the G5 will offer you more flexibility when it comes to the personal belongings you can carry. For example, you could carry an extra battery if you want to stay out longer or maybe you want to carry a water bottle or other personal belongings. You’ll have this option with the Oxlife Freedom too, but note that you’ll have an extra 0.3 pounds weighing you down.
When it comes to pulse flow portable oxygenators, sound is usually never an issue. They’re naturally much quieter than continuous flow concentrators, but it’s worth bringing it up since it’s a concern for many people. On a setting of 2, the G5 runs at a quiet 37 decibels which is comparable to a soft whisper. The Oxlife Freedom, on the other hand, is about 46 decibels.
Many oxygen patients describe portable oxygen concentrators like a refrigerator. At first, you’ll notice the noise, but the longer you have it, the less you’ll notice it. They’re quiet enough that they won’t disrupt anyone else either. For example, you’ll be able to sit through a church service or visit the library without feeling like you’re bothering anyone around you.
With that being said, there is a noticeable difference between the sound level of the G5 and the Oxlife Freedom. The Inogen One G5 offers much quieter operating sound levels even on higher flow settings and if you need to sleep with your oxygen concentrator on, it will be much easier to get to sleep while using the G5. So, if this is something that concerns you, the G5 will be your safer option.
One thing that’s very unique about the G5 and the Oxlife Freedom is that they both offer plenty of additional features that make them unique. It’s fine having a POC that meets your basic requirements, but it’s also nice having one that goes that extra step and exceeds all your expectations.
Dynamic Network Analysis® (DNA)
The most notable extra feature of the Oxlife Freedom is its Dynamic Network Analysis® (DNA) which we talked about earlier. This feature is really unique because it makes the Oxlife Freedom and Oxlife Independence the only portable oxygen concentrators to be fully connected to the internet no matter where you are in the world. This has deemed it the name, “the world’s first smart POC.”
The DNA feature has a number of functions. First and foremost, the system is designed to prevent instances of COPD hospital readmittance. Generally, one day spent in the hospital for a COPD exacerbation is costlier than an entire year’s worth of oxygen therapy. With DNA, O2 Concepts is able to track the integrity of the oxygen concentrator, as well as your usage habits to ensure you’re getting the oxygen you need throughout the day.
Another thing that DNA enables you to do is monitor the condition of your device. Even the best POCs out there need maintenance every once in a while, but with this feature, you’ll never have to worry about when that time comes. It also gives you the security you need to travel the world knowing that your device is connected to a secure, proprietary network.
The Inogen Connect was first implemented with the Inogen One G4, and due to popular demand, it was implemented with their latest unit, the G5, as well. The Inogen Connect is a smartphone application that connects to your Inogen portable oxygen concentrator via Bluetooth. By simply turning on your phone you’ll see real-time information about your concentrator’s status including column condition, battery life, and much more. You’ll also have access to the Inogen One G5 user manual for quick troubleshooting reference.
The Inogen Connect is incredibly easy to use and takes just seconds to set up. If you like to keep your G5 on your back with the Inogen One G5 backpack, this is the easiest way to get up-to-date information about it without ever having to look at it. Simply pull out your phone and open the application. The best part about all of this is that it’s absolutely free to use!
The Best Candidate for the Oxlife Freedom
With the release of the Oxlife Freedom and Oxlife Independence, O2 Concepts has established itself as one of the leading POC manufacturers. While the Oxlife Freedom is the only pulse flow unit produced by the company, it’s had a significant impact on the industry. In addition to offering a good battery life, lightweight design, and high oxygen output, the Oxlife Freedom aimed to go above and beyond by keeping oxygen patients connected through the DNA network.
If you’re looking for a pulse flow POC that allows you to get outside for several hours each day and you want the security of knowing exactly the condition of your device, the Oxlife Freedom is for you.
The Best Candidate for the Inogen One G5
Inogen established itself as the industry-leading portable oxygen concentrator manufacturer back in the early 2000s, and they haven’t held up since then. Their latest pulse flow concentrator, the Inogen One G5, is the perfect example of why Inogen’s products stand the test of time.
Straight out of the box, the G5 offers the highest oxygen output of any pulse flow POC on the market, narrowing the gap between pulse flow users and continuous flow users. With the double battery (sold separately), the G5 has the longest external battery life of any pulse flow unit, allowing oxygen users to stay out longer and do more. And last but certainly not least, the G5 is backed by one of the most reliable and trusted brands in the industry.
Assuming it meets your oxygen requirements, there really isn’t anyone that we wouldn’t recommend the G5 to. It’s the best portable oxygen concentrator for the greatest number of people and it continues to push the boundaries of what oxygen patients can do.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong with either the Oxlife Freedom or the Inogen One G5. They both offer oxygen patients the freedom and independence they’ve been craving in order to stay active and achieve more. We recommend the G5 for more patients than the Oxlife Freedom because it excels in areas that tend to be most important to people. However, there are also variable conditions to take into consideration like cost which may lead you to choose one over the other. Be sure to stay tuned to our site to see what deals we’re currently offering on pulse flow portable oxygen machines.