The Problem

Those in the oxygen business have known for years that although nasal cannulas and oxygen masks are efficient, they have certain drawbacks. Everyone in the oxygen industry has experienced complaints from patients regarding sore noses, ears, and cheeks due to the chaffing from oxygen tubing. Irritation caused by cannula prongs damaging tender nasal mucosa is another major issue.

There are serious cases where the patient refuses to be compliant. There are multiple causes for the refusal of treatment: claustrophobia, dementia, or deciding that the inconvenience and irritation outweigh the benefit of oxygen therapy. Even compliant patients frequently find themselves tangled in tubing or awake to find the cannula misplaced.

The dementia patient is the most challenging oxygen patient. The patient can’t comprehend the benefit of the oxygen and simply removes the cannula no matter how many times it is replaced and how frequently the patient is instructed to leave it in place.

There have been many attempts to resolve these problems. Most attempts have been to separate the problems and attack them individually. Solutions include non-petroleum lubricants to use on or in the nose and foam guards to protect the ears from the cannula. Some claustrophobics and mouth breathers even put the cannula in their mouths. Needless to say, besides sanitation problems, it just doesn’t work well while sleeping.

Touchfree O2 was founded to find a comprehensive solution to these common oxygen therapy problems. Two of the three founders came from the oxygen industry. They took a pragmatic approach to resolve this problem with their own patients, and it worked, but it needed some refining. The third partner of Touchfree O2 is an engineer and prolific inventor. He was able to take their idea and vision and create a product which allows the patient to maintain oxygen saturation levels comparable to using a cannula, even while moving around in sleep.

The Solution

The solution is an oxygen streaming system. The oxygen is best delivered via 2 tubes, each placed up to 28 cm away from the patients face, with one streaming oxygen from the right and the second from the left. The oxygen must exit the delivery tube at a very low but precise velocity and with all turbulence eliminated, in order for the oxygen to stay columnated for the required distance. To achieve the required blood oxygen saturation the diameter of the delivery tube, the length of the delivery tube, and the liter flow rate need to be precisely coordinated. The Touchfree O2 delivery system is easily set up by medical personnel and is able to fully envelop a patient’s mouth and nose in oxygen rich atmosphere while they are seated or recumbent.

Due to the coanda effect, which bends the oxygen around the patient’s face, proper oxygen saturation is maintained even as the patients head changes position. Comparable results from the Touchfree O2 device for a patient normally requiring two liters of oxygen per minute using a cannula, are obtained by streaming five liters of oxygen from each side to the patients face.

TouchFree O2 Results

  1. The patient sleeps better. There is no more getting tangled in the tubing. The cannula does not get displaced, since it is not necessary.
  2. The patient can sleep free of tubing and cannula irritation. This prevents the ears and nose from getting sore and possibly ulcerated.
  3. For patients that won’t wear a cannula, they get a night of optimal oxygenation which allows more restful sleep and better mentation.
  4. The caregiver’s job is easier because the patient can not displace or remove the cannula, thus requiring less attention, the patient will sleeps better and is more rested and less irritable in the morning.
  5. Those requiring oxygen therapy are less likely to refuse oxygen therapy which will result in better quality of life and may extend their lives.
  6. For the first time dementia and claustrophobic patients will receive the oxygen they need at night.
  7. We believe that even nasal mucosal dryness that so many oxygen patients suffer from will be minimized. (Quantitative proof of this is yet to be obtained.)

What the TouchFree Streamer Will NOT Do

  1. It is not portable and will not replace a cannula or mask while a patient is mobile.
  2. It will not provide sufficient oxygen for a patient that requires more than four liters per minute.
  3. It is not intended to treat sleep apnea.

Benefits to Oxygen Providers

  1. Patients will be more compliant.
  2. Less service time will be required because the patient will have less physical.
  3. complaints. The patient will not have a sore nose or sore ears and will sleep better because they are more comfortable.

  4. With a solution to the “difficult” patients, your company will have a competitive advantage with the doctors and the facilities. It follows that you will naturally get the routine cases referred to you, too.
  5. Those on nighttime-only therapy will be more willing to comply with treatment.

Conclusion

There are more than a million oxygen patients in the United States. Approximately eighty percent are on two liters of oxygen. It is estimated that there are another million individuals in need of supplemental oxygen who will accept oxygen with the Touchfree O2 steamer. Thus more people will accept treatment and more concentrators will be needed and particularly ten liter machines. There is more profit in a ten liter concentrators than in a five liter machines, increasing revenue to home oxygen businesses. It is also anticipated that most patients, when given a choice, will up grade to the TouchFree O2 streamer further increasing revenue.

Contact Us for More Info

We are interested in speaking with medical device manufacturers, oxygen services companies or other interested parties who wish to take this product to market. Please contact us below.

Sid Rodabough
Phone: (509) 251-4462

TouchFreeO2 LLC
2085 N Gunsight Dr
St George UT 84770