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Lively Mobile Medical Alert: Updated Review

Last year, we reviewed the Lively medical alert (then known as Lively) safety watch and recommended it as a functional and stylish alert button.  Then, in December (2015) we were notified that Lively Inc had been acquired by GreatCall Inc, a well-known, established company in the senior cell phone and medical alert device industry.  By adding the Lively assets to the lineup of GreatCall products, the company now offers a more comprehensive approach to assisting seniors and caregivers alike.

Related:  Jitterbug Flip and Smart: The Latest Senior-Friendly Cell Phones by GreatCall

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The new Lively Mobile medical alert is a cellular medical alert device that can be worn as a pendant or on the wrist. There is no base station required, making it easy to setup and use right out of the box.

Lively Alert by GreatCall can be used right out of the box

Lively Mobile is waterproof, so it can be worn in high risk areas like the shower and bath. Additionally, the medical alert device can detect falls and send information to family contacts about the location and activity of the user.

Lively Alert from GreatCall comes with a charging cradle.

The Lively Mobile comes with a charging cradle, magnetic lanyard, accessory clip (for attaching to a belt or purse) and a helpful quick start guide.  The wristband option is coming soon according to the GreatCall website, although for someone with small wrists, it feels a bit large to be worn there.

Lively Alert from GreatCall can be worn on the wrist or neck

The medical alert device offered by GreatCall is lightweight at 1.41 oz.  I wore it for several days with the lanyard around my neck and it was quickly forgotten about as I went on with my life.  It is recommended that you charge the battery each day to keep the device operating properly.  The two-way speaker is loud and clear and can be used to communicate with both the 5Star agents and 911. Since the Lively Mobile medical alert is cellular, it can be used in or out of the home and will work anywhere covered by Verizon cell service.

What happened to the Lively Safety Watch?

Lively Wearable with lanyard Lively Wearable with wristband

The new GreatCall safety watch is called “Lively Wearable”.  Part fitness tracker, part medical alert device, Lively Wearable is geared towards active seniors who want the peace of mind of a medical alert in an sleek, waterproof wrist or pendant unit. We will write a more in-depth review about Lively Wearable in the near future.

How much does the Lively Mobile medical alert cost?

The Lively Mobile device costs $37.49 and plans start at $19.99/month, are month-to-month and there are no long-term contracts for the “Basic” package (does not include fall detection).  The “Ultimate” package includes the following for $34.99/month:

  • 5Star Urgent Response (also included in the Basic package)- Agents who will respond when the button is pressed or a fall is detected through the two way speaker on the device.
  • Urgent Care- 24/7 access to registered nurses and board certified physicians.
  • GreatCall Link- a connectivity tool for authorized caregivers to keep track of users through a smartphone app, including location.
  • Fall Detection- when worn with the specially designed lanyard provided by GreatCall, falls can be detected and the device automatically places a call to an agent to assess the situation.
  • Product Replacement- $3/month, replacement if your device is lost, stolen or damaged.

Lively Mobile: Pros and Cons

Pros: Waterproof, low entry cost, low monthly cost, no long-term contracts, fall detection add-on, clear and loud speaker, lightweight, GPS location.

Cons: Not stylish (but functional), large to be worn on the wrist, daily charging, fall detection is an extra cost.

After testing our demo unit and seeing what it has to offer, the Lively Mobile alert will be added to our list of recommended medical alert systems for its functional use and quality product, but feel that they have some improvements to make to be considered a top medical alert.  We like the additional services (Urgent Care and Great Call Link) that are not a common add-on in the medical alert industry…yet.  As always, we appreciate seeing the innovation and value-adds that are being embraced by medical alert companies. We look forward to seeing what they develop in the coming years to serve seniors and the people who love them.

5 Comments

  1. RUN!!! DO NOT BUY A GREAT CALL SYSTEM. I bought a Lively Mobile in early June for my 83 year old Aunt who lives 2 hours away from me. And it has been nothing but a headache!! The volume on the unit cannot be adjusted, so good luck if your loved one is hard of hearing! The battery on the first unit barely lasted 8 hours before it would die. I let them talk me into a new unit & another 30 days of “free” service (which they promptly billed me for). So, they shipped out a new unit a couple of weeks ago, but I was unable to make the 2 hour drive to my Aunt’s house to charge it/activate it until a week after it was received. (I asked them to send it to my address, but they failed on that, too!) The first several days, the unit appeared to be working well & I was relieved. Then I tried to check things out on the “link” & found myself being frustrated & angry all over again. The app never showed ANY accurate information (for either unit)!! To add insult to injury, it quit letting me sign in. I uninstalled the app, restarted my phone, reinstalled & repeated the cycle more times than I can recall. Once again, I called in. I had to tell the story to each person & they all wanted me to go through the same cycle repeatedly – uninstall/restart/reinstall. Finally I was told that it would be sent to higher ups in the tech department & that I would receive a call within 1-3 days with a solution. Well guess what? Yep, no one called. So yesterday, I called them. I tried to save myself some time, but obviously the first person that answers the phone is told to not pass you on without going through the uninstall/restart/install routine. I kept being put on hold & eventually I was passed on to a person in the “tech” department. Again, I tried to save time, but nope, she was going by the script, too! At this point, I declined to jump through the hoops. She asked if I could sign in on a computer. Once I said yes, you’d have thought the issue was solved. Not. I can’t sign in to a computer every time I need to check on my Aunt. And even if I could, the information is incorrect or missing. For instance, the week in review was incorrect, as it said she had “no activity” for the week. I had been there 3 days & we went to Dr & hair appts, out to eat, etc). The tech stated, “Who really needs the week in review, if you’re tracking her everyday?” Therein lies the problem… I CAN’T TRACK HER EVERYDAY!! My brother called to tell me that her battery was “critical” & her last known location was a block away from her house ( she hadn’t left the house that day). The tech told me that was basically “accurate enough,” cos it was in the “general area!” I didn’t buy this to be in the “general area!” What good would that do? When I complained about the battery going dead on the unit & that I believed it was because Verizon has terrible service. She said, “I’m glad you said that! You are so right! If the unit has to keep searching for a signal” it will run the battery down & if it has fall detection it will only last 8-10 hours. She said, we don’t advertise or tell people about the bad cell coverage & fall protection running the battery down cos a lot of people live in areas where there is GREAT cell coverage so they never encounter this problem & they wouldn’t know what we were talking about! (Let’s be real, they don’t tell people because they are out for the almighty dollar!!)
    She went on to say, “what we normally do in situations like that, is send out an extra charger so that the unit can charge, while she is relaxing, watching tv in the afternoon or something.” So much for 24/7 coverage with fall protection! I guess while she’s watching tv she can’t fall or have a medical emergency. ?
    She also told me that they knew about the issues with the app & they were working on them. She said I could check back in 90 days to see if it has been resolved.
    Uh, in 90 days it will no longer be our problem!! I’ll be going with another company that uses AT&T! Seems AT&T works real well in her home!!
    Please understand, every one I’ve spoken with has been very kind…. but I didn’t buy into their service to visit on the phone with nice people. I NEED my Aunt protected at all times & I NEED to know her status throughout the day, EVERY DAY!!
    I feel completely misled and taken advantage of. A little less than a month with GREATCALL & I am so very angry & disappointed. I’m not paying almost $50 a month for a unit that halfway works. (Let’s see, she puts it on the charger around 9pm & it stays there until about 5am. Then the battery is critical at 3pm? Wow! We’re paying a lot for 10ish hours of coverage each day!!)
    In my opinion, the Lively Mobile & it’s app are wonderful concepts, but they fall way short of the mark.M Maybe if Verizon has a great signal in YOUR home, then it will work for you. If not, like I said before, RUN!!!!!

  2. Purchased Lively Device 10/10/2016, $41.45 Month Service, they started billing for service before the device was shipped. The charger cradle and/or device battery have serious design issues. I do not think it ever charged fully, never saw solid green light. Cancelled service 01/06/2017 after contacting GreatCall and they said they are aware of charging issues, never notified the users.
    Not a reliable device, would not recommend.

  3. We are looking for a device for our daughter in law who had a stroke and has to have 24 7 care. She can move her fingers some and needs a device to make sure the aid shoes up and she is not by herself.

  4. I recently purchased the great call lively. Like the compactness of the unit but the volumn is so low you can hardly hear and the battery has to be recharged about every eight hours.

    1. Do you think maybe you got a defective one? I’m shopping for my mom for something like this, and I don’t want to get her one that’s a hassle to use.

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