Philips Lifeline Medical Alert System

A pioneer in providing at-home and mobile alert systems

8.6 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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Jenny Wisniewski https://www.safehome.org/author/jenny-wisniewski/

You’re probably familiar with the Philips family of products. Maybe you have owned a Philips Magnavox TV or used Philips Hue lights. I was pretty excited to try out Philips Lifeline medical alert systems because of this brand familiarity.

If you read our most affordable alert system guide, you will see that Philips Lifeline isn’t the cheapest medical alert brand out there. But when it comes to reliability and advanced location detection, Lifeline is a top choice. The company is clearly a pioneer in the world of electronics – but do they have an alert system that makes sense for your budget and lifestyle? Let’s take a closer look.

Key Features

The best features of this system

  • Cellular and Landline Monitoring
  • In-Home and Mobile Monitoring
  • Fall Detection
  • Advanced GPS and Wi-Fi Location Tracking
  • Fall Detection Included With an At-Home System
  • Nationwide Coverage
  • No Contracts
Philips Homesafe Packaging

Philips Homesafe Packaging

Philips Lifeline Packages and Pricing

Philips Lifeline allows seniors to live at home (and on the go) with confidence and peace of mind. Their alert plans start at $29.95 per month and range up to nearly $60 per month. Sure, it’s a little pricey — as I’ve tried brands that only charge $19.99 per month — but Philips does have some redeeming qualities. Take a look at the breakdown of monitoring prices and other fees for each system.

Philips Lifeline Equipment and Costs

Philips Lifeline Package Monthly Monitoring Fee Equipment Price Activation
Fee
HomeSafe Standard, Landline $29.95 $0 $50
HomeSafe Standard, Cellular $43.95 $0 $50
HomeSafe With AutoAlert, Landline $44.95 $0 $50
HomeSafe With AutoAlert, Cellular $58.95 $0 $50
GoSafe 2 $49.95 $99.95 $19.95

Note that Philips Lifeline does charge a $99 installation fee for professional installation of the system. But I recommend doing it yourself, as it’s pretty easy and only costs $19.95 for self installation.

One thing you may like is that Lifeline offers free equipment for most of its systems. In addition, they don’t require long-term commitments or contracts. Still, at $29.95 per month for a landline plan, it’s a bit steep, especially considering that top-reviewed Bay Alarm Medical starts at $19.95 per month for similar coverage. And as I’ll discuss, many companies don’t require activation or installation fees.

Philips Lifeline Equipment

Philips Lifeline Equipment

One thing to keep in mind when comparing prices is that Philips Lifeline includes in their monthly fees a few costs that other medical alert companies charge as extras. One of these things is fall detection, which is usually an additional $5 to $10 monthly cost. In addition, many companies charge for shipping (as much as $15). However, this cost is part of Lifeline’s installation fee.

FYI: The length of time, or “lie time,” that someone who has fallen and is unable to get up on their own is significant. Researchers determined that a lie time of 72 hours or more increases mortality by 67 percent.1 This is the reason that SafeHome.org always recommends investing in fall detection.

Philips Lifeline Wearable Pendant

Philips Lifeline Wearable Pendant

Other Equipment

Lifeline keeps their add-on offerings and upgrades simple; they sell just a few for those who want to customize their systems. If you or your loved one wants a little extra peace of mind, take a look at the following products.

Philips Lifeline Add-ons and Upgrades

LifeLine Equipment Description Price
Lockbox Comes with a combination lock / stores a key for emergency personnel $29.95 each
Voice Extension An additional two-way talk communicator to extend the range in your home $10 per month
Medication Dispenser An app-connected dispenser that releases medication doses at preset times $59.95 per month

Out of the three offerings, I think the lockbox is the wisest investment. If you press the help button to contact the monitoring system, Lifeline shares your lockbox code with EMS. This allows paramedics to enter your home without having to damage a window or break down a door. Other brands sell lockboxes at similar prices.

Philips LifeLine Medication Dispenser

Philips LifeLine Medication Dispenser

A unique extra that Lifeline offers is its medication dispenser. Other brands have medication reminder services that cost much less, but the Lifeline option actually dispenses medication, which helps to reduce the chance of dosage errors. Note that the Philips Lifeline product can hold up to 60 doses at a time, and each dose is released in a small cup at a preset time. If you’re interested in an option that costs less up front but includes a reminder service, read my review of Lively alert systems.

Finally, watch for an updated version of the medication dispenser, which Philips Lifeline is currently developing.

FYI: The Philips Lifeline medication dispenser has a rechargeable battery and provides up to 18 hours of backup power during an outage.

Caregiver App

Lifeline medical alert systems are compatible with Philips Cares, a free app for caregivers. A main benefit is that the primary caregiver can create a Care Circle of people for Lifeline to contact in case of emergency. (Of course, Lifeline can call EMS, too.) Each contact can share their availability within the app.

Also, Philips Cares allows caregivers to share notes and other important details with one another. It has handy wellness rating categories too, like “Memory,” “Mobility,” and “Mood.” I really like how the app automatically charts these ratings; you can easily see trends in your loved one’s well-being.

Philips LifeLine - Philips Cares Mobile App

Philips LifeLine – Philips Cares Mobile App

Unfortunately, GPS tracking for caregivers isn’t part of the deal, unlike with some other brands. If I had a parent with dementia who wandered from home, I’d really like to know their location. That said, a Lifeline agent explained that GPS tracking for their GoSafe 2 device is in the test phase. So stay tuned!

It’s worth mentioning that Philips Cares has mostly 5-star ratings at the Google Play Store.2 It’s also well-rated in the Apple App Store, although people have complained that the iOS version is buggy. That said, Lifeline releases app upgrades pretty frequently to improve service.

At this point, the app is a nice freebie to complement the Philips Lifeline system. However, other free apps for caregivers are readily available, so I wouldn’t use it to account for the price difference between Philips and other brands. If/when location detection for caregivers is added to the app — well, that’s a different story.

If you value GPS location tracking and other neat caregiver features, you may want to check out our review of Aloe Care Health. This system offers unique at-home features such as motion and air quality sensors.

Philips Lifeline Alert System Options

Philips LifeLine sells systems for in-home and on the go. For in-home coverage you can choose between landline and cellular units. For on-the-go coverage, GoSafe 2 is a great choice. It offers fall detection, two-way talk, and location detection.

At-Home Alert Systems

HomeSafe Standard

HomeSafe Standard is available for landline or cellular service. It includes a base station with a speaker and a waterproof button to wear around your wrist or neck. This button can connect with the base station from a few hundred feet away. (Philips doesn’t get specific about range, unfortunately.)

Philips Lifeline Homesafe Base Station

Philips Lifeline Homesafe Base Station

A highlight of the HomeSafe Base Standard is the button’s battery life which lasts for years. Also, the base station has a 30-hour battery in case home power is lost. This system is cheapest with a landline connection at $29.95 per month. But if you choose cellular service, it costs $43.95 monthly. In my experience, $43.95 for an in-home cellular alert is high compared to the industry average (which is roughly $28-$35 monthly).

Who It’s Best For: The Philips Lifeline HomeSafe Standard is made for homebound seniors who decide against fall detection.

HomeSafe With AutoAlert

Philips Lifeline HomeSafe with AutoAlert

Philips Lifeline HomeSafe with AutoAlert

AutoAlert is Lifeline’s name for automatic fall detection. HomeSafe with AutoAlert is identical to HomeSafe Standard except for the fall detection upgrade. These systems are available with landline and cellular base stations, and typically a base station can monitor a button from other rooms of the house. However, you’ll get a longer range with most other brands.

I like that the buttons hold power for up to three days per charge, and the plug-in base system has a 30-hour battery in case of a power outage. The monthly rate is $44.95 with a landline connection and $58.95 with Lifeline’s wireless AT&T connection.

Who It’s Best For: HomeSafe with AutoAlert is best for seniors who spend most of their time at home and want the extra protection of automatic fall detection.

Good To Know: AutoAlert was developed through thousands of hours of testing. It’s been shown to detect about 95 percent of falls, and false alerts are relatively rare.3

Mobile Alert Systems

GoSafe 2

Philips Lifeline GoSafe2

Philips Lifeline GoSafe2

Like any true mobile unit, Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 offers emergency coverage anywhere it catches an AT&T cellular signal. And I appreciate the all-in-one design, as mobile devices from some other brands require both the mobile device and a fall detection button while on the go.

Also impressive is Lifeline’s use of Advanced GPS, or A-GPS, for especially fast location tracking. Lifeline also uses Wi-Fi to track access points in indoor spaces. Finally, you’ll like how it’s shower-safe and works for up to 72 hours per charge. Philips sells the equipment for $99.95 and charges $49.95 per month with fall detection.

Who It’s Best For: This convenient system is best for seniors who want protection at home and away and who also want fall detection.

Pro Tip: GoSafe2’s audio beacon is a one-of-a-kind feature. A loud siren-like noise is emitted from the pendant during an emergency situation if the personal response agent or first responders are having difficulty locating the user.

Current Deal

Philips Lifeline has a longstanding deal with AARP: Members can save 15 percent on monthly medical alert service. Also, shipping and activation may be free. Without an AARP discount or other deal, Lifeline activation costs $50 for at-home systems and $99.95 for GoSafe 2.

Military members are also eligible for special savings. These vary, but be sure to ask for military discounts if you’re part of a military family. If you happen to be a veteran, read our guide to the best alert systems for veterans.

Lifeline isn’t advertising other specials as of this writing. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to ask a Lifeline agent to honor promotions offered in the past. These include free shipping, a free lockbox, and the same monthly savings you’d get as an AARP member.

If you are someone looking for different ways to save money on a medical alert system, you might want to read my analysis of LifeFone.

HomeSafeGoSafe2GoSafe
$29.95/mo$44.95/mo$54.95/mo
+ $50 Upfront Costs*+ $99.95 Upfront Costs*+ $149 Upfront Costs*
View PackagesView PackagesView Packages
Services
Services
Services
Wide Range of OperationFall DetectionFall Detection
Two-Way Voice CommunicationTwo-Way Voice CommunicationTwo-Way Voice Communication
Uninterrupted Support5 Locating Technologies6 Locating Technologies
24/7 Access to Response Centers24/7 Access to Response Centers24/7 Access to Response Centers
GPS EnabledGPS Enabled
Automatic Self-Testing
Landline or Cellular Connection
Equipment
Equipment
Equipment
Water Resistant Pendant or WristbandWaterproof PendantWaterproof Pendant
30-Hour, Worry-Free Battery with Automatic ReplacementRechargeable BatteryRechargeable Battery
HomeSafe Communicator with High-Fidelity Speakers and MicrophoneGoSafe In-Home Communicator with High-Fidelity Speakers and Microphone
30-Hour Battery Backup
Options
Options
Options
Professional InstallationProfessional InstallationProfessional Installation
Automated Medication Dispensing ServiceAutomated Medication Dispensing ServiceAutomated Medication Dispensing Service
Philips Lifeline HomeSafe with AutoAlert

Philips Lifeline HomeSafe with AutoAlert

Overall Value of Philips LifeLine

Philips Lifeline monitoring prices are slightly high, as noted above. Keep in mind they also charge fees for activation and self-installation. These fees might be waived if you’re a member of the military or AARP… but in my opinion, nobody should have to pay these extra charges. Thankfully, Philips Lifeline offers free equipment for both of their at-home systems, which is typical among the highest- rated brands.

I do like that Philips Lifeline offers an at-home system with fall detection, something not all at-home systems do.

And among Philips Lifeline’s greatest strengths are the features on its all-in-one GoSafe 2. The location detection is advanced, employing both advanced GPS and Wi-Fi. This feature will bring peace of mind to caregivers of loved ones living with dementia, among other medical conditions. I look forward to experiencing the potential addition of location detection for caregivers on the Caregiver app.

In the end, Philips Lifeline is a trusted brand, and for those who don’t mind paying a little bit extra, it’s a product that will likely not disappoint older adults or their caregivers.

FYI: If you aren’t happy with your Lifeline system, you can return it within 30 days for a refund on equipment and monitoring. However, you may still be charged for activation and restocking.

Philips LifeLine Background

Dating back to 1972, Philips Lifeline was the first medical alert brand to serve North America. It was the brainchild of the late Dr. Andrew Dibner, a gerontology-focused professor at Boston University. He grew the company with his wife Susan Dibner, a social worker by training. At first, they marketed Lifeline systems to hospitals. Then in the early 1980s, Lifeline became available for home use.4 Their first mobile unit, GoSafe, hit the market in 2014.

Lifeline was acquired by Royal Philips in 2006. Since the sale, the company has maintained a strong reputation with seniors and their loved ones. You can learn more about the brand background in our recent Philips LifeLine review.

Philips LifeLine FAQs

How frequently do I need to change the battery and what type of battery is needed?

HomeSafe makes replacing batteries simple for users. The AutoAlert button has a non-rechargeable battery that can only be replaced by Philips Lifeline. When the battery has about 30 days remaining, it will send a signal to Lifeline and a representative will contact you to make arrangements for the replacement. The base station uses a backup battery in case of a power outage, which is good for up to 30 hours.

Is the HomeSafe waterproof?

Yes, the pendant can and should be worn in the shower, as falls can occur in the bathroom. However, it should not be worn in a pool as chlorine can damage the device. Heat can also damage it, so it should be removed before using a sauna or hot tub.

What do I need to use the cellular system?

You don’t need anything special. The base station connects to the monitoring center, using the AT&T 4G wireless network. The wireless service is provided with the Lifeline service. No additional wireless equipment is needed.

Does Philips Lifeline offer a voice extension?

Voice extension is a feature that requires an additional box with a speaker enabling two-way talk to take place with the base station from another room. Philips Lifeline only offers a voice extension feature for an additional $10 per month and only for those using a landline. Unfortunately, when I inquired with a company representative about the maximum distance that a voice could be picked up when using the voice extension, the representative was unable to answer with any certainty

Do I get any kind of protections if not satisfied with the product?

Philips Lifeline offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty on its products.

Top
Citations
SafeHome.org only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chaudhuri, Shomir. (2015, Oct 1). Fall Detection Devices and their Use with Older Adults: A Systematic Review. US National Library of Medicine.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4087103/

  2. Google Play Store. (2021). Philips Care Assist C.03.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.philips.CareTouch.B00&hl=en_US

  3. Philips LifeLine. (2021). Automatic Fall Detection.
    https://www.lifeline.philips.com/medical-alert-systems/fall-detection.html

  4. Flippo, Robert. (2019, July 17). The Industry Tips its Hat to Andrew Dibner. LinkedIn.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/industry-tips-its-hat-andrew-dibner-robert-flippo/

Written By
Jenny Wisniewski
Medical Alert System Expert

As SafeHome.org’s medical alert system expert, Jenny Wisniewski researches, tests, and reviews the best solutions to help seniors age in place. Her experience includes providing caregiving for her own Mother and regularly writing in the elder care consulting space. Jenny pays attention to the nuances in each alert system she reviews so that seniors and family members can find the best fit for their needs. In addition to elder care, Jenny also enjoys writing about travel, education, and the environment. And in her free time, she loves spending time outdoors with her family and golden doodle. Learn more about Jenny here

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