Portable Oxygen Concentrator Helps Travelers Breathe Easy
The Business Problem
There was a time not long ago when people with COPD and other breathing disorders had much less mobility than they do today. They were frequently tethered to large, bulky, heavy five- and 10-liter cabinet-style oxygen concentrators that remained in the home.
Sequal Technologies sought to develop a portable oxygen concentrator that would vastly increase mobility for this patient group.
The Client’s Challenge
Sequal engaged MindFlow Design to incorporate new technology developed by its engineers into a breakthrough product that would present individuals who had been fearful of travel with new opportunities to enjoy life.
Sequal engineers had both developed the internal components based upon proprietary technology and successfully miniaturized them. MindFlow Design’s development team was asked to bring the benefits of this technology to people in need through discovery and incorporation of the optimal design.
Our immediate task was to enable a positive user experience through development of the product enclosure, a wheeled cart and battery charger. As a start point, we observed potential users carefully to fully understand their desires, mechanical abilities and limitations. A second assignment involved designing an intuitively simple user interface panel, taking into account a demographic whose members were likely to be older and in poor health. Our contributions also included articulating a brand language for the product that defined how Sequal wished to present itself in the marketplace, a brand language that would resonate with product purchasers.
In 2006, Sequal introduced this product as the Eclipse, a 19-pound portable oxygen concentrator that was about the size of a student backpack, to rave reviews. An important bonus: this was the first portable oxygen concentrator with an oxygen flow high enough that it could double as the back-home unit.
The Eclipse became the first portable concentrator to win Federal Aviation Administration approval for use on planes. It also earned a slew of design and engineering awards, including the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for medical devices.