Guest: Tom Cullen
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Director Tom Cullen has over many years acquired a wealth of knowledge dealing with Hospital Personnel, Medical Specialists and Clinicians across the State healthcare sector. His general experience is complemented by specific familiarity with commercial and assistive technology, making him expertly placed to provide product information and support on the range of oxygen-concentrator products.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, improve your well-being and quality of life with the help of Eveready Health Solutions‘ portable and floor oxygen-concentrator devices. They also offer a suite of Floor Concentrators (stationary) for use in private homes and aged-care facilities as well as their Foldaway Mobility Scooter which easily fits in the car boot or on the rear seat of the vehicle.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is from Victoria in Australia. Tom Cullen is the owner and operator of the business Eveready Health Solutions. Now, Eveready Health Solutions Tom is not a name that sort of tells me what you do. So tell us where it is you operate and what sort of things Eveready Health Solutions does?
Tom Cullen: Thank you Wayne. Look, Eveready Health Solutions is a business that I commenced, we’re based in Melbourne, Eastern part of Melbourne in Victoria. And we operate in the supplementary oxygen’s based or specialty. I provide portable Oxygen Concentrated Devices and also Floor or stationary type devices to appropriate individuals or to people who are in aged care facilities or retirement homes or to people in the hospital section, which take in palliative care, district nursing and people who got to be discharged from hospital following various operations.
W: Now Tom, I’m not a clinician so just help me out here. Most of our audience are clinicians and you will probably think I’m incredible dumb here, but what sort of condition lead people to need a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
T: Okay. A Portable Oxygen Concentrator is a device that provides supplementary oxygen to the individual who has lung issues, deficiency in the lungs or people with cystic fibrosis and sometimes you know have cardiovascular deficiencies as well. It’s something that’s identified and obviously monitored and one has to have a GP script, it’s regarded as a drug. So what it allows people to do is give them an enormous amount of independence, freedom, mobility in their life. And it is a unit that’s paired by a lithium battery, number 1 so one can go to the opera, the theatre, the cinema, to lunch and then also there is a dedicated pack for use in their car if their going off from Melbourne say the Sydney or Brisbane … city for alternatively then if their travelling, planning to travel interstate or overseas trip they can also be used and are approve by multiple airlines. But predominantly the device for people with these deficiencies and are prescribed by a respiratory specialist, often someone who has been thru the process and monitored with the signs in the lung section or respiratory section of a public hospital.
W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar. Today I’m in conversation with Tom Cullen who’s the owner and operator of Eveready Health Solutions. And we’ve been talking about portable oxygen concentrators, a product that Tom provides. Now Tom these things don’t have a tanker oxygen with them, do they?
W: Correct, Wayne. This device actually eliminates all the refills and it delivers oxygen via nasal cannula that it in fact creates its own oxygen and works for ever and ever. As I said, it is operated by a lithium battery. It has varied settings which the clinicians or respiratory specialist would set that individual at. It’s got a memory to continue to do that and obviously the life of a battery, it depends on the setting that was set. Then recharge the battery by way of the transformer and the charger in your electricity point at home or there is as I mentioned before, the dedicated target charger. But they provide oxygen on an ongoing basis and never requires refilling unlike the cylinders that perhaps your audience or you or I have been accustomed to.
W: That’s surprising to me, you know I do a lot of interviews with the health industry and the idea of extracting oxygen from the atmosphere and concentrating it just haven’t occurred to me. Is this a common technique that’s regularly in use?
W: I’m hesitating that… yes it is. It is a technology that’s been available for something like in its ten or twelve years. There are a number of companies that are in that space and yeah, it’s developed by way of the unit which weighs incidentally anywhere between 2.8 kilos to about 2.5 kilos, there are different models. But basically the principle of it is that they take in the air by way of a filter which we all breath and then it separates what we don’t want in the system by way of an exhaust system and then it delivers the medical grade oxygen at a right up to 93% via a nasal cannula.
W: Intriguing. Tom what would you like clinicians to know about this?
W: To clinicians, I would like them to perhaps be more aware of this as an option for people. My role is to educate and impart information and it’s more of a consultancy type role that I would love the clinicians to be able to consider or look at this. The unit doesn’t form any part of government issue or devices within the risk of this specialist. It’s something that the individual has to acquire, purchase on their own. And I guess the clinicians are dealing largely with the public who have sadly a health issue and they look at a device that they can have at home and have the cylinders that they’re accustomed to that require ongoing refilling in their homes or wherever they may live whether it’s rural, regional country areas and there is a huge cost associated with that. So despite my level of activity trying to get the teaching hospitals and practice managers on that, there is a huge you know and what advertising I may do, I would love the clinicians and the GPs and personnel in that area to perhaps be more aware of it and you know look at what advertising perhaps that I can do in this small venture that I’ve got. And this, sadly there is no funding by way of as I’ve got as a rule by government bodies or state governments, private health funds also at this stage do not offer a rebate for this.
W: Well with a little bit of luck today, some of our listeners may have sparked an interest in it and they can get more information at your website www.evereadyhealthsolutions.com. Tom if there’s a misconception about Portable Oxygen Concentrators in your business that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night, what would that misconception be?
W: Look, I guess it embraces that some of the things that I’ve alluded to there is that the cost of it, no government assistance and claims from private health funds. I guess and the general public particularly these devices from a price point of view, you’re looking at somewhere in the region of five thousand dollars which is a massive amount of money to an individual or to anyone. And you know particularly if you’re a senior person, a pensioner on low income, it’s very frustrating for them not to have this sort of support which allows them to go to … and they, the public sometimes believe that they should be available but look, that’s our current policy to state what lobbying that maybe going on.
W: I see. Tom thank you for your time this morning. It’s been very informative to hear about the Portable Oxygen Concentrators, certainly it was something that I didn’t know anything about but the number of things that I don’t know anything about it is very long I can assure you. We’ll put a transcript of this story on our website and a sound archive at www.hpr.fm for anyone who’d like to catch up on it who has missed our full conversation, we’ll leave that available there. And also in the transcript, will have your website www.evereadyhealthsolutions.com, so people can track that down. So Tom Cullen, thank you for your time this morning. My name is Wayne Bucklar, this is Health Professional Radio.
W: Thank you very much indeed Wayne to you and to your listeners out there across Australia and in particular Victoria.