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Philips Lifeline Review

A pioneer in medical alert systems offering exceptionally fast response times

Last Updated On: April 18, 2019
SecureScore™: 7.8 /10
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7.8 SecureScore™
Customer Service
7.3
Value
7.2
Equipment
8.4
Features & Technology
8.3
Ease Of Use
8.0

Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Ratings

Philips Lifeline brought medical alarm devices into the world back in the 1970s. They’ve continued to innovate their products and services, while maintaining a focus on quality that shows through in the customer support. The HomeSafe and GoSafe lines are the in-home and mobile packages that they have available.

PROS
  • Well-established company with an excellent reputation
  • Highly trained response associates
  • In-house monitoring center
  • 12 second response time

CONS
  • No Five Diamond Certification
  • No integration with smart home or security devices
  • Activation fees and high monthly cost

Overview

Philips Lifeline created the original medical alert button in North America when the founder of the company, Dr. Andrew Dibner, Ph.D., wanted to make a device that could help seniors when they’re alone and need assistance. The first version came out in 1972, and he established Lifeline Systems alongside his sociologist wife Susan Dibner. Hospitals provided the call centers at first, but as the company grew, it started using centralized call centers for better service.

In 2006, Philips acquired the company and renamed it to Philips Lifeline, a name that it retains today. Since this product was first on the market in North America for personal medical alert devices, it’s not surprising that it’s developed a substantial customer base over the years.

The product lines are divided between at-home and mobile options, called HomeSafe and GoSafe. These cover most senior lifestyle needs, and an add-on service for medication management is also available. Philips Lifeline is known for offering an excellent customer experience with highly trained professionals answering alerts within 12 seconds.

Features and Technology

Fall Detection

The HomeSafe with AutoAlert service option recognizes activity that happens during a fall. The response team receives the alert and can begin helping you without needing you to press the button.

Landline and Cellular

You have plans available for homes with landlines, those without, and if you want to go fully mobile.

Water Resistant

The medical alert pendants are water resistant so you don’t have to worry about protecting it from the elements.

Location Technologies

Many medical alert services rely on GPS alone to try and locate the person in need of medical assistance. Philips Lifeline uses multiple options to get the most accurate location possible. Assisted GPS relies on more than one satellite to locate you faster. Wi-FI location, audio beacons and intelligent bread crumbing lead emergency responders to you. The digital breadcrumbs are taken as you move around outside, so you have a virtual trail leading to you.

24/7 365 support

Highly trained response professionals are based in the United States and go through an extensive training program prior to answering alerts.

Personal Care Plans

Let Philips Lifeline know your preferences when it comes to your personal care plan, in case you can’t talk or are otherwise incapacitated during a medical emergency.

Ease of Use

The installation process of Philips Lifeline devices is straightforward and simple. Professional installation is available for a fee if you prefer that they come out and do it for you, but it’s not necessary to get full functionality out of the system.

Customer Service

Philips Lifeline has an in-house, 24/7 monitoring center with a highly trained 200 person team. The staff members get 80 hours in gerontology and stress management, along with hands-on experience so they know how to make the right decisions in an emergency situation. The typical personal response association has worked for Philips Lifeline for 7 years, and some of them have been with the company for over 25.

They handle 18,000 calls per day and support 200 languages. With a 99.999% infrastructure availability rating means you’ll always get through to someone, with an average response time of 12 seconds. The organization proactively monitors response association calls every month and works with each employee one-on-one for continual improvement.

Value

Philips Lifeline does not require a long-term contract for its service. You have several plans that you can choose, based on your lifestyle and requirements.

The base HomeSafe plan uses a standard landline connection and costs $29.95 per month plus a $50 activation fee. If you don’t have a landline, you can use their cellular option for $41.95 per month.

HomeSafe with Autoalert upgrades your service to include automatic fall detection. This increases the cost to $44.95 per month with a landline or $56.95 per month with a cellular connection. Both of these options have an in-home communicator with a paired medical alarm pendant.

The GoSafe service allows you to bring your medical alarm system with you wherever you go. The base cost starts at $54.95 per month and has a $149 activation fee. It comes with the mobile-enabled medical alert button and an in-house communicator.

The GoSafe 2 is $44.95 per month plus a $99.95 activation fee. It’s an all-in-one system, so you don’t have to worry about pairing it with a base station.

Equipment

HomeSafe Medical Alert Pendant

This pendant connects you with the experienced operators at the Lifeline call center. An easy one-button operation means that it’s easy to use in any situation.

In-Home Communicator

This base unit pairs up with the medical alert pendant so you can clearly communicate with a response agent during an emergency in your home. This device has 30 hours of battery backup, automatic self-testing processes and high-quality speakers and microphone.

GoSafe Medical Alert Pendant

You can get in touch with a response associate anywhere you choose to roam. This device pairs up with an in-house communicator in the event that you don’t have good wireless coverage in your home. It has a 7-day battery and you can set it in airplane mode if needed. The device is waterproof.

GoSafe 2 Medical Alarm Pendant

This all-in-one mobile device eliminates the need for a separate in-home communicator. You talk to a response associate directly through the pendant. Other than that, it shares the same features as the original GoSafe device. During an emergency, it uses multiple types of technology to pinpoint your location. An audio beacon can help caregivers and emergency medical professionals locate you in challenging environments.

Add-On Equipment

Philips Lifeline offers a Medication Dispenser for an additional $59.95 per month. This full-featured device streamlines complicated treatment plans to improve medication compliance and other medication-related issues. Pre-filled dosage cups give you exactly what you need, when you need it. It can store up to 60 cups, which is anywhere from 1 to 40 days of coverage. It can provide six doses per day and sends reminder alerts for liquid and other medication forms. You can also get walked through how to take the medication.

An early dose feature can be enabled if it’s necessary. The main cabinet locks to limit the opportunity for unintentional over or under dosing. The rechargeable battery keeps the device running for a long time, with 18 hours of life.

Caregivers can receive alerts from the medication dispensing system. Some examples of these alerts include how many missed doses occurred when medication levels are low and if any errors occurred. An easy to read Monitoring report is available through Philips Lifeline. A missed dose is one that is not marked as taken within 90 minutes of the reminder. If four missed doses happen in a row without the status being cleared by the senior, then the device stops dispensing medication.

Summary

Philips Lifeline is the company that pioneered the medical alert button industry. They have built upon their reputation to offer several quality service tiers and the equipment needed to support senior independence. The HomeSafe line comes in landline and cellular options, and you can choose to add fall detection. The GoSafe is the mobile device, which keep you protected whenever you leave the house.

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2 Comments

  1. kathy says:

    What cellular service is your fall detection lifeline linked with

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Philips uses the AT&T cellular network, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an AT&T customer to use the company.

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