Philips Respironics sent me a MiniElite unit with a SideStream Plus handset and slim lithium ion battery to test and give my expert review as a user of nebulizers for over 30 years, so I put it through its paces and have come to a conclusion about their product.
My first impression of the MiniElite was amazement over how small it is. It’s about twice the size of an aquarium air pump! If I had this when I was in high school doing nebs on the way to golf practice and tournaments, it would have made life SO much easier. We used to have a DC to AC converter to plug in our 10lb compressor and then a dose took 20-30 minutes. I hated having CF every day of the week back then.
Imagine having a 1.4lb compressor with an optional thin lithium-ion battery that snaps to the bottom of it for use in the car or out anywhere you can’t get to an AC or DC outlet. It also comes with a carrying case that is smaller than my overnight toiletry bag and the base unit has a neb cut-out to stand the nebulizer up so the mouthpiece isn’t laying down on a dirty surface after use. Pretty impressive design.
Philips asked me to try the MiniElite with my Pulmozyme and TOBI, but I’m only on Pulmozyme of those two, so I tested it with Pulmozyme and Albuterol since my other meds must be done with my other nebulizer. The website claims a 3 minute per mL, which is 2-3 times longer than my other nebulizer, but it has to be noted that insurance only pays for my other neb if you take colistin or TOBI, so I’ve had many readers tell me that they can’t get it and the purchase price is out of reach. I think this unit is a vast improvement over older technology that we grew up with.
The runtime for Albuterol 2.5 mL was 10:45 and Pulmozyme clocked in at a near-expected 7:30 for 2.5mL. I was impressed with the new nebulizer design that really keeps the mist inside the chamber and mouthpiece area rather than spilling out the other end. That was how my last one was, so it needed the big 6″ ribbed hose to catch the mist to avoid it dripping out the other end. Big improvement in getting the medication, for sure. As a long-time user, these number produced several emotions at once. I was simultaneously happy that there is technology for people who can’t get my other neb unit so they can improve their treatment times, ticked that it wasn’t available when I was so active and wanted to be out doing other things, and disappointed that it wasn’t quite as fast as my other neb… however…
… I would recommend the Philips MiniElite whole-heartedly if you have a compressor that is super loud, shakes the floor, and takes longer than 10-15 minutes for a dose. Even if your device does have similar times for treatments, you really can’t beat the size. Look at this sucker in my hand, which is relatively small as far as hands go. It’s a bit too loud to use while you’re watching TV, but if you’re like some of us, wireless headphones are the bomb for watching TV while you do your Vest anyway. It’s still quieter than I remember my old compressors (I’ve had 2 my entire life before I switched to a non-compressor system).
Average treatment time:
7 minutes for 3 ml dose
Operating flow rate (with nebulizer):
3.5 liter per minute @ 11.6 psi
Maximum pressure of compressor:
Maximum liter flow of compressor:
8 liters per minute
12V DC, 1250 mA (compressor)
12V DC, 1800 mAh (battery)