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Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Systems

Editor's Rating:

4.6 / 5

In 1974, Dr. Dibner and his wife launched Lifeline Systems Inc., and became the first company in North America to provide personal alert services. Less than 10 years after its founding, Lifeline Systems expanded the business from homes to hospitals and healthcare organizations across the United States and Canada. In 2006, Philips bought Lifeline Systems and renamed the company Philips Lifeline.

Philips Lifeline sells both at home and on-the-go alert systems, making it a great option for older adults of any activity level. On this page, I’ll give you all the information you need to know about every Philips Lifeline device, their costs, and how they hold up when compared to others on the market. When you’re done reading, you’ll have all the information needed to decide if one of Philips Lifeline’s medical alert systems is your perfect match.

Philips Lifeline is the Oldest…But Is It The Best?

Headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, Philips Lifeline is one of the top medical alert system providers. Both FDA approved and serving more than 7.5 million subscribers to date, it’s the medical alert system with the largest subscriber base in the United States. Additionally, from my experience, I’ve found Philips Lifeline to be the easiest system to use, thanks to its easy-to-wear equipment, all-in-one mobile alert options, and highly personalized response plan. In fact, the company’s response plan was the most personal out of any other system, with their Trained Care Specialists who immediately pull up the personal profile of each caller to provide specific responses.

Despite being around for decades, the well-established company is no dinosaur in the industry. Philips Lifeline is committed to innovation and they continuously improve system technology to keep up with the times. The systems are light and comfortable to wear, use cellular data and have automatic fall detection technology. I’ve spent years caring for older adults and believe automatic fall detection is one of the most important features when looking for a medical alert system, since approximately two-thirds of hospital visits that involve adults 65 and older are the result of a fall.

Philips Lifeline also offers the Phillips Care App, a digital caring platform that allows caregivers and family members to communicate and coordinate care. Older adults tend to have many different healthcare providers and family members involved in their circle of care and to have a place where everyone can share notes, engage with one another and manage availability is priceless.

How To Get Your Hands On A Philips Lifeline System

The simplest ways to purchase a Philips Lifeline system are through the company’s website or over the phone, as the full systems aren’t available in brick and mortar stores. The company makes the purchasing process easy with their buying advice guide, which goes through a series of questions for consumers to think about when looking at different systems. Some of those questions include asking about living status, lifestyle needs and medical conditions.

Once you buy the equipment it’s yours to keep. The equipment is not leased. It’s also important to note that Philips Lifeline medical systems are eligible for an AARP discount. AARP members do receive 15% off Philips Lifeline systems as well as free shipping.

Philips HomeSafe Cellular updated equipment
Philips Lifeline HomeSafe Cellular

Philips Lifeline Systems At A Glance

Philips Lifeline has two product lines, in-home medical alert systems and on-the-go ones. The equipment included in each system is similar but the pricing and features vary.

Philips Lifeline Systems Overview

Philips Lifeline SystemBilling OptionsFeatures
HomeSafe Standard$50 one-time activation fee

$29.95 per month with a landline

$43.95 per month with a cellular connection

24/7 response plan

Pendant or wristband

Personalized response plan

Two-way voice communication

Wide range of operation (the button will send alerts from anywhere within 800 feet of the in-home communicator)

Waterproof help button

Long-lasting battery that’s automatically replaced by Philips Lifeline

HomeSafe with AutoAlert$50 one-time activation fee

$44.95 per month with landline

$58.95 per month with cellular connection

24/7 response plan

AutoAlert fall detection

Pendant or wristband

Personalized response plan

Two-way voice communication

Wide range of operation (the button will send alerts from anywhere within 800 feet of the in-home communicator)

Waterproof help button

Long-lasting battery that’s automatically replaced by Philips Lifeline

GoSafe 2$99.95 one-time activation fee

$49.95 per month

24/7 monitoring

AutoAlert fall detection

Two-way communication

Five locating technologies

Water-resistant button

Rechargeable battery

All-in-one system

FYI: On top of monthly payments, there is a one-time activation fee for both HomeSafe and GoSafe systems.

Which Philips Lifeline System Should I Go With?

To get a better handle on which system does what, here’s an in depth look at the three options available:

HomeSafe Standard

This is Philips’ most affordable option and starts at $29.95 a month, but it’s important to note pricing changes based on your connection choice. If you’re using a cellular connection, your monthly rate for this same system would be nearly double, at $43.95 a month. This system includes one base in-home communicator and the option of a help button pendant or wristband.

Philips Home Safe updated equipment
Philips Lifeline HomeSafe Standard

The in-home communicator acts as a speakerphone and when you press the help button, it immediately calls the Philips Lifeline response center. The system also allows for two-way talk, meaning you can actually speak to the person on the other line, and it works anywhere within 800 feet of the in-home communicator. The help button also comes with a long-lasting battery that Philips Lifeline automatically replaces when needed. Customers receive a low-battery alert 30 days before the battery runs out at which point a representative from Philips Lifeline reaches out to get you a new one. This means you didn’t have to worry about having batteries in stock at all times. Finally, the help button is waterproof, so it can be worn in the bath or shower, where falls are very common.

HomeSafe With AutoAlert

The HomeSafe with AutoAlert offers all the same features as the standard system, but also includes AutoAlert fall detection. Because of this added feature, the system is a bit more expensive, but in my opinion worth it. Falls are the number one cause of death in adults age 65 and older and no matter how much we prepare with medical alert systems, sometimes when an older adult falls down, they aren’t able to push their button. The AutoAlert technology is designed to detect falls and quickly alert the response center regardless of whether or not the button is pushed.

Philips HomeSafe with AutoAlert (Landline)
Philips Lifeline HomeSafe with Auto Alert

GoSafe 2

This is the newest addition to Philips Lifeline and, as the name entails, is a great way to stay safe while on the go. This single-piece, water-resistant system costs $49.95 a month and provides coverage and support anywhere AT&T is available. With five locating technologies and AutoAlert Fall Detection, in the event of a fall, I feel confident help will find me wherever I am. The five location technologies include:

  • A-GPS: Assisted GPS uses satellites to quickly identify locations and is faster than regular GPS.
  • Wifi: Mobile pendants have wifi capabilities and serve as a good back-up for indoor places, where A-GPS may not work well.
  • Intelligent Location Breadcrumbs: The system regularly records and stores location snapshots. Once a button is pressed, Philips Lifeline can use intelligent location breadcrumbs to determine location and travel direction.
  • Two Way Communication Through The Pendant: You can speak directly to a Trained Care Specialist through the pendant, meaning you can get help whenever and wherever you need it.
  • Audio Beacon: This is a loud sound that’s activated by Philips Lifeline so responders can find you.
Philips Lifeline GoSafe2
Philips Lifeline GoSafe2

In addition to the location services, the GoSafe 2 has a rechargeable battery and usually needs to be charged every two and three days. But, if you forget to charge the battery, it can be charged while you’re wearing the pendant around your neck.

You Should Know: The $29.99 HomeSafe Standard landline option is only available to first-time customers.

Add-Ons

Philips Medication Dispenser

The medication dispenser, which costs $59.95 per month, takes away some of the complexities involved with medication schedules. The rechargeable system can dispense up to 60 cups of medicine six times a day and sends alerts if there’s a missed dose, dispenser errors or refills needed. There are also safety features that ensure older adults are taking the prescribed dosages at the right time. If medication is not taken at the predetermined time, the dispenser will notify a caregiver.

Philips Medication Dispenser
Philips Medication Dispenser

Philips Lifeline Monitoring

When investing in a medical alert system, I want to know help is available at all times. Philips Lifeline Trained Care Specialists, who have access to over 140 languages via an interpreter service, provide 24/7 monitoring every single day of the year. Each product has direct access to a call center, meaning as soon as I push the help button or my AutoAlert Fall Detection triggers, someone is contacted in approximately 12 seconds.

Each individual on the 200-person team of Trained Care Specialists undergoes 80 hours of detailed instruction in gerontology and stress management, as well as monitored training class to make sure they can provide the best support in all situations. All response centers have plans in place to stay operational in case of power outages or other natural disasters. And if a response center has any unforeseen technical problem, calls will be transferred to another center.

Follow-up is a big part of Philips Lifeline and in the situation where a Trained Care Specialist can’t make verbal contact, they will usually call for emergency response. They don’t want to take any chances that help didn’t arrive. Specialists also go through follow-up coaching sessions and training to ensure excellent service.

Philips Care

With so many doctors, family members and friends involved in older adult’s care, it can get confusing. There is also the potential for information to get lost in the shuffle. That’s where Philips Care comes in. This app allows for a care circle, a group of people who can be activated and reached out to in the event of an emergency. It also provides a place for caregivers to share notes, engage with family and friends and keep an eye on device maintenance needs. But perhaps, my favorite feature of this app is that it allows for my care circle to manage their availability in real-time. That means if there is a fall, someone in the care circle can alert everyone else in the circle that they are able to respond to the emergency at hand.

The app also makes it possible for Trained Care Specialists to provide personalized when called upon. The specialists will pull up a personal profile, assess the situation and identify a caller’s location. They will also take a look at the contacts that are available to help and will reach out to anyone you want, including emergency services or a family member. Specialists give responders 30 minutes to acknowledge that they’ve arrived to help and if they don’t get that confirmation, specialists will call back.

Tip: By downloading the app, family and friends will be able to create a care circle, which is a network of people actively involved in an older adult’s care.

Installation and Warranties

Each system comes with everything needed to install it yourself including hardware and a detailed instruction manual. But, for those who need a little more help, Philips offers a professional installation service, for $99. If opting for professional installation, a representative from the company will call to set up a time for a technician to come out. The set up usually takes about an hour and the technician also walks you through how to use the devices. There is also an option for third-party installation and Philips Lifeline can connect you to one of the company’s local affiliates. As for warranty, the company offers one year for the pendant. If you receive your system and aren’t happy, there is a 30-day return policy.

Final Thoughts

There is definitely some pressure associated with being a leader in the industry, but Philips lives up to that standard with its reliable service, easy-to-use systems, and intuitive app. Not all medical alert systems have such user-friendly apps, making this a big bonus. Apps are an easy way to stay on top of a loved one’s care without having to be present at all times.

While Philips Lifeline is one of the best systems on the market, it’s also one of the most expensive. There is an upfront fee to activate the system and an additional monthly fee for the subscription. Other medical systems, like ADT, are a bit less expensive overall, though they do charge additional fees for features like fall detection.

As an FDA approved system, Philips is easy to use, well-constructed and uses advanced technology to ensure safety. That combined with its personalized care option could make it the medical alert system of your dreams!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I bring my Philips Lifeline system with me if I move?

    Yes, the system is portable, and you can set up the in-home communicator either by yourself or with Philips professional installation service. But you must let Philips know about your move a few weeks ahead of time so they can update your profile and transfer your Lifeline service.

  • How do I know that my HomeSafe system is working?

    Philips encourages customers to press the help button once a month, in non-emergency situations, to ensure the system is working properly.

  • Are Philips Lifeline systems waterproof?

    The pendants and wristbands are either water-resistant or waterproof, meaning older adults can wear them in the bath or shower.

  • What if I push my medical alert button but can’t get to the phone?

    The HomeSafe communicator acts as a speaker and microphone to make sure you and the responder can hear each other, regardless of your location. But, in the case that you aren’t able to hear, the responder will immediately follow up based on the instructions in your personal profile.

  • Can I use Philips Lifeline if I don’t have a landline?

    The HomeSafe system now offers a wireless communicator using a cellular signal that connects users to Philips’ 24-hour emergency response center, eliminating the need for a landline. The wireless system works with both the standard HomeSafe system as well as the one with AutoAlert.

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