SeQual hopes to Eclipse competition
SAN DIEGO - SeQual Technologies believes it has developed the most versatile oxygen system yet with its new Eclipse concentrator, a 17-pound unit that provides both pulse and continuous flow at rates of up to 3 liters per minute.
The company unveiled a prototype at Medtrade and plans to make the system available to providers in the first quarter of 2006 after it conducts a beta test involving 500 patients.
The race in the respiratory manufacturing field has been to develop an all-purpose oxygen system that meets all the criteria for active oxygen patients: ambulation, continuous flow, portability, long battery life and durability. With Eclipse, the SeQual management team claims that the unit is equally adaptable inside or outside the home and because it is a continuous flow, clinically suitable for nighttime use as well.
At 17 pounds, the Eclipse is certainly on the heavy end of the portability scale, but conversely it's much lighter than a stationary concentrator system weighing 50 pounds. Its success may hinge on whether users see the unit as easily transportable. Ed Radtke, director of sales for SeQual, believes they'll have no trouble.
"It's definitely not wearable, but not many patients with wearable units actually wear them anyway," he said.
As for carrying the unit up stairs or loading it in a vehicle, Radtke is confident users will manage it easily.
SeQual executives say they haven't developed the Eclipse for a particular demographic but acknowledged that "mid-ambulators" would probably be best suited for the system. They estimate that about 35% to 40% of an HME provider's respiratory clients would be candidates for the concentrator.
Tom Williams, managing director of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Strategic Dynamics, said the Eclipse definitely breaks new ground and is a formidable addition to the premium oxygen market.
"The Eclipse is currently the industry's lightest weight continuous flow and pulse flow combined concentrator," Williams said. "Because the unit operates from AC, DC or battery power, it will allow oxygen-dependent patients the freedom of movement within their home, outside their home and for travel outside their HME provider's area of service. Because the device does not require monthly or more frequent deliveries of oxygen to the home it should be an important addition to an HME provider's oxygen delivery inventory arsenal."