Cylinder confidence

Monday, September 26, 2011

ST. LOUIS - Who knew Responsive Respiratory was so hip?

The manufacturer of high-pressure oxygen products now offers a free app for iPhone and Android phones that allows HME providers to answer this oft-asked question from patients: "How long will this cylinder last?"

"We hear from providers that their drivers get asked this all the time," said Tom Bannon, president. "Everyone is paranoid, which, I guess if you're a senior citizen and you're going out somewhere, you should be. They look at an M6 cylinder and think, 'That's not going to last six hours.'"

Here's how the app works: The provider selects the device, liter flow setting, cylinder size and contents, and the app calculates the estimated oxygen available.

Providers can also get their patients to download the app and show them how to use it, so they don't return cylinders that still have oxygen in them.

"It's estimated that 60% of oxygen cylinders come back to the provider or the filler with oxygen still in it," said Sara Lippold, marketing manager. "That's wasted money. A dollar saved here and there is a dollar saved here and there."

The app has been getting "rave reviews," Lippold said. Want proof? It has been downloaded more than 2,000 times.

"It's goodwill to providers, because we realize they're in a crunch, but also, it helps get our name out there," she said.

The app is pretty much replacing the "duration cards" that Responsive Respiratory used to give providers, who in turn, gave them to patients, Bannon said.

"It's really the next best thing," he said.