Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Review

Best Medical Management System

Philips Lifeline has its roots in 1974, when gerontologist Andrew Dibner, Ph.D. and his wife Susan founded Lifeline Systems, Inc. Lifeline Systems was a pioneer of the medical alert industry, providing hospitals and other healthcare organizations with its wireless emergency alarm. In the 1980s, it began offering its devices directly to consumers outside of the hospital or nursing home setting. The company was acquired by Philips in 2006 and now offers four medical alert systems to customers throughout North America.

Philips Lifeline offers several add-on devices to its medical alert users, one of which is an automated medication dispensing device. The device can be programmed as an alarm to remind seniors to take their medication, as well as to release the proper dose of a user’s medications. The device holds up to 60 cups of medicine and can be programmed to release six doses of medication per day, which is a much higher capacity than other medication dispensing systems on the market. Those with complex medication regimens may find that the Philips Lifeline’s medication dispenser meets their needs better than other devices on the market.

Who Philips Lifeline Is Best For

Seniors With Complex Medication Schedules

Philips Lifeline’s Automated Medication Dispenser can hold up to 60 cups of medicine- more than any other comparable device from other medical alert companies. It also can be programmed to play an alarm when it is time for seniors to take their medication, which is extremely useful for forgetful seniors who may accidentally miss doses, or those with complex medication regimens. The Automated Medication Dispenser can potentially be lifesaving for those prescribed medications that must be taken at specific times each day or who may be at risk of taking the incorrect dose.

Seniors Who Live in Larger Homes

One concern seniors who live in larger homes may have is that their voice will not reach the in-home base station needed to communicate with the monitoring center. Philips Lifeline offers a voice extension device designed to increase the range of its in-home systems. The voice extension box increases the range of in-home systems by about 1,500 feet, bringing the range to approximately 2,000 feet. This device can make it possible for seniors who live in large homes to get emergency protection with an in-home device, as most devices do not have a range that exceeds 1,000-1,300 feet.

Seniors Who Are Prone to Falls

Medical alert systems make it easy for seniors to get emergency assistance. However, in some extreme circumstances, a user may become incapacitated and unable to press their personal help buttons. Automatic fall detection is potentially lifesaving for those who are prone to falls and more likely than average to suffer one of these situations. Philips Lifeline offers this feature with three out of four of its devices, unlike other companies which sometimes limit which of their devices may be used with fall detection.

Plans and Starting Costs

All Philips Lifeline customers must pay for their devices on a month-to-month basis; there are no discounts available for quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment. The systems range in price from $29.95 for the basic in-home system to $54.95 for a bundled option.

Starting Costs

All Philips Lifeline customers must pay for device installation. Users can choose between self-installation, which costs $19.95, and professional installation, which costs $99. Both installation options include shipping. All systems also carry an activation or device fee.

Philips Lifeline offers all customers a 30-day free trial period. During this window, customers who are unsatisfied with their device for any reason may return it for a full refund. However, it should be noted that all one-time fees, including activation, installation, and device fees, are non-refundable. Philips Lifeline also charges a $50 restocking fee for any devices that are returned without ever having been activated.

Device Prices and Features

HomeSafe

Device Features

The HomeSafe provides emergency protection in the home. The system includes a base station with a 48-hour backup battery and a range of 500 feet, and one wearable help button. The help button may be worn as a wristband or pendant and is shower-safe. The HomeSafe is available in both landline and cellular versions, but those who choose the cellular connection must pay an additional monthly fee.

Fall detection is not available as an add-on to the standard HomeSafe system. However, a HomeSafe with Auto Alert device, which includes automatic fall detection, is available.

Pricing

The HomeSafe Standard costs $29.95 a month when used with a landline. It is available with a cellular connection, which costs an extra $14 a month, bringing the monthly cost to $43.95. The HomeSafe with Auto Alert, which includes automatic fall detection, costs $44.95 a month for the landline-based system. Like with the HomeSafe Standard, a cellular connection for the Auto Alert device costs an additional $14 a month.

Both the HomeSafe devices have a one-time activation fee of $50. Users must also pay the installation fee of either $19.95 or $99, required for all Philips Lifeline devices.

GoSafe 2

Device Features

This is an all-in-one portable device. The lightweight, waterproof device has a built-in two-way speaker and personal help button. In addition to cellular service, the device uses a combination of GPS, WiFi, and other technologies for advanced location tracking capabilities. The battery life of the device lasts 2-3 days between charges, and automatic fall detection is included with all GoSafe 2 systems.

Pricing

The GoSafe 2 costs $49.95 a month. Users must also pay an initial one-time device fee of $99.95, in addition to the installation fee.

GoSafe

Device Features

The comprehensive GoSafe system combines the GoSafe 2 with an in-home communicator. The GoSafe 2 functions as normal when users are outside of the home, and when they are in the home the device automatically connects with the communicator. This is useful for those who worry that their homes do not have ideal cellular service, and want an extra layer of protection. Automatic fall detection is included in the monthly cost.

Pricing

The GoSafe is Philips Lifeline’s most expensive system at $54.95 a month when users choose the landline option for the in-home communicator. Users may upgrade to an in-home communicator with a cellular connection for an additional $15 a month. All customers must also pay a one-time device fee of $149, plus installation costs ranging from $19.95 to $99.

HomeSafe StandardHomeSafe with Auto-AlertGoSafe 2GoSafe
Monthly Cost$29.95*$44.95*$49.95$54.95**
One-time fees$50$50$99.95$149
Type of DeviceIn-home systemIn-home systemMobile systemIn-home and mobile system
ConnectionLandline or CellularLandline or CellularCellularLandline or Cellular
Battery Life48-hour backup48-hour backup2-3 days7 days; 48-hour backup
Water ResistantYesYesYesYes
Shower-proofYesYesYesYes
Range500 feet500 feetN/AN/A
Fall DetectionNot availableIncludedIncludedIncluded

*The cellular model costs an extra $14 a month
**The cellular model costs an extra $15 a month

Optional Devices

Philips Lifeline offers two unique devices, the automated medication dispenser, and the voice extension tool. The automated medication dispenser costs $59.95 a month, plus a one-time installation fee of $99. Voice extension may be added to users’ service plans for an additional $10 a month. There is no installation fee for this device.

Users may also purchase a lockbox from Philips Lifeline for $29.95.

Monitoring

Philips Lifeline operates its own Philips Response Centers to monitor all of its devices. Monitoring centers are located in both the U.S. and Canada. All Response Associates that work with Philips Lifeline must undergo intensive training. Interpreter services are always available to provide support in over 140 languages.