Oxygen therapy, or the administration of medical oxygen, has increasingly been used to treat various medical conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, and cystic fibrosis. Oxygen therapy is ideal for most patients who can’t receive adequate oxygen volumes from regular breathing. It also helps those who need high concentrations of oxygen for various reasons.
One of the major drivers of hyperbaric chamber sales is the increasing preference and shift from traditional cylinder-based oxygen tanks to portable devices. There’s also a growing preference for portable oxygen units over stationary concentrators. Below are a few oxygen therapy trends and outlooks for 2023 and beyond.
COVID-19’s Impact on Demand for Oxygen Therapy
While the incidence rates of the pandemic have significantly declined, oxygen therapy was a major treatment option for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Oxygen therapy at high rates was a vital treatment because the disease directly affected the patients’ lungs and breathing abilities.
Interestingly, the market shift from stationary to portable oxygen concentrators slightly slowed in 2020. This is partly because healthcare providers allocated more resources and focused on availing less-costly stationary oxygen cylinders. Very few patients also required portable oxygen devices, thanks to worldwide lockdown measures and stay-at-home orders designed to contain the pandemic.
However, the demand for portable oxygen devices is poised to increase for various reasons. Stationary concentrators witnessed increased demand in 2020 because they were effective in most high-risk situations. However, there’s an increase in the number of aging adults developing respiratory conditions, subsequently increasing the demand for oxygen therapy.
An estimated sixteen million people suffer from COPD, with millions still undiagnosed. Patients with COPD are also prone to other severe respiratory issues, including COVID-19, which has increased the adoption of oxygen therapy and the introduction of advanced delivery methods, such as nasal therapies.
Increased Demand for Remote Oxygen Therapy Monitoring
Besides increasing the oxygen demand, the pandemic also made it crucial to have home-based oxygen monitoring devices. Remote oxygen monitoring devices connect oxygen equipment with smartphone apps. This allows clinicians to monitor various aspects of oxygen therapy remotely.
The trend of improved health data transmission will also grow exponentially with the introduction of wearable technologies, wireless 5G networks, and advances in photoplethysmography sensors. PPG sensors are non-invasive devices that use photodetectors to measure variations in blood. These sensors are positioned at specific body parts, such as fingertips, forehead, and earlobes.