What is known about this topic • All contemporary automated oxygen control algorithms increase time spent within oxygen saturation target range. • The automated oxygen control algorithms are all different in design and function. What this study adds • The basal oxygen requirement, the amount and magnitude of interventions by an automated oxygen controller can possibly be used as an indicator of clinical deterioration. • Studies involving automated oxygen controllers are heterogenous and cannot be compared. • A head-to-head comparison of algorithms is required to understand how to best utilise this technology.