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Research Papers

The Design and Development of a New Light-Weight Portable Oxygen System

[+] Author and Article Information
Anne Bruton1

 Faculty of Health Sciences, Building 45, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKab7@soton.ac.uk

Ian Sinclair

 Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKis1@soton.ac.uk

Elizabeth Arnold

 Solent NHS Trust & Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UKE.Arnold@soton.ac.uk

Warren Hepples

 Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd., Colwick, Nottingham, NG4 2BH, UKwarren.hepples@luxfer.net

Francis Kay

 FXK Developments Ltd., The Old School House, Church Hill, Akeley, Buckingham MK18 5HB, UKfxk@btconnect.com

Graeme Maisey

 Graeme Maisey Ltd., 15 Chantry Road, Chessington, Surrey KT9 1JR, UKGraeme@graememaisey.com

Andy Norwood

 Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd., Colwick, Nottingham, NG4 2BH, UKAndy.Norwood@luxker.net

Mike Clinch

 Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd., 3016 Kansas Avenue, Riverside, California 91250Mike.Clinch@luxfer.net

1

Corresponding author.

J. Med. Devices 6(3), 031007 (Aug 20, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007180 History: Received March 24, 2011; Revised May 10, 2012; Published August 20, 2012; Online August 20, 2012

Background: Patients with respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are prescribed oxygen therapy, but frequently fail to use it as intended and therefore do not receive the associated health benefits. Many of the reasons for this non adherence to therapy relate to the design of the equipment currently provided. We have designed and developed a novel system for portable oxygen delivery to overcome this problem. Method of Approach: There were five complementary workpackages (user involvement and exploratory work; ultra lightweight cylinder technology; embedded valve regulator technology; patient-driven system design; regulatory design & manufacturing review). Each had specific deliverables supporting the end point of the program, i.e., to have a fully functioning prototype oxygen delivery system that had been designed and evaluated with maximum input from end users. Results: Patients primarily wanted a lightweight, long lasting, reliable, unobtrusive and ergonomically designed system with simple controls. To provide this, we have developed a new full wrap composite cylinder that has achieved weight savings of ∼12% over a comparative composite cylinder, or a doubling in cylinder design life. We have developed a totally new concept in valve regulator technology, conferring significant reductions in weight and space envelope. We have addressed form factor, flow dial design and flow setting indicator design to improve the ergonomics and esthetics of the system. The developed prototype system weighs 1.7 kg when full, is 34.2 cm in height and 8.5–8.7 cm in diameter, and is capable of 8 h operation at a flow rate of 2 liters per minute, using a standard conserver. Conclusions: Throughout this project, a significant amount of time was invested in establishing the views and perceptions of potential end-users of the new system. This has ensured that their views informed the design and development process. By combining novel cylinder technology with revolutionary valve technology (SmartFlow) we have been able to design an ultra-light cylinder oxygen system (IOS® ) with accurate, reliable and stable flow. The weight reduction combined with the new easy-to-read gauge and user-friendly controls should improve patient confidence in the system and result in increased adherence to therapy.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Luxfer gas cylinder L7X full wrap composite cylinder

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Figure 2

SmartFlow-02 module

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Figure 3

Standard oxygen system with typical ‘industrial’ appearance of the topworks

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Figure 4

Sphere design concept

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Figure 5

(a) “Equator” grip, (b) “top-hat” grip, (c) “dimples” grip, (d) “Mohawk” grip

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Figure 6

Design prototypes for communicating the flow setting

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Figure 7

An early shut-off design using a simple lever

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Figure 8

The final design for the shut-off mechanism

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Figure 9

Front view of new IOS® system

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Figure 10

Side view of new IOS® system

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