Respironics debuts the Ultra oxygen product

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. -- Philips Respironics filled out its respiratory product line this month when it officially launched UltraFill, which will now go head-to-head with Invacare's HomeFill and other transfilling oxygen units.

"There isn't one product that suits every patient out there," said Jay Vreeland, director U.S. marketing, home respiratory care. "Our approach is the portfolio umbrella, where you have a variety of modalities you can match to what's most beneficial for the patient and for the provider's business model."

UltraFill joins Respironics' EverFlo 31-pound oxygen concentrator; EverFlo Q quiet concentrator; EverGo portable concentrator; GoLox portable liquid unit; Millennium 10 LPM stationary concentrator; as well as pulse oximeters, ventilators and nebulizers.

A key feature for the UltraFill--a feature Respironics officials believe gives it a competitive advantage--is the ability to fill high-capacity cylinders at 3,000 psi. That gives patients 40% more oxygen than the standard 2,000 psi cylinders that competing systems use. This allows patients to go out and stay out longer, and it helps providers reduce their inventory of cylinders, Vreeland said.

While some 3,000 psi cylinders are made from composite materials and very expensive, that's not the case with UltraFill cylinders. These are "standard tanks like what providers are used to," Vreeland said.

The UltraFill is compatible with EverFlo, EverFlo Q, Millennium M10 oxygen concentrators and most CGA-870 type oxygen conserving devices (OCDs) and regulators.

As far as transfilling units go, Invacare's HomeFill is by far the most widely used. In February 2009, the company announced that the 150,000th HomeFill had been delivered to a patient.

Transfilling units connect to stationary concentrators and allow patients to refill oxygen cylinders at home. This gives patients more freedom--they no longer have to wait around for new tanks--and helps providers reduce delivery and related expenses.