Best Medical Management System
Philips Lifeline was established in 1974 by gerontologist Andrew Dibner, Ph.D. and his wife Susan as Lifeline Systems, Inc. Dr. Dibner ultimately went on to receive a patent for his Automatic Alarm System in 1976. The company initially began providing hospitals and other healthcare organizations with its wireless emergency alarm and shifted to providing the product to individual consumers in the 1980s. Lifeline Systems was acquired by Philips in 2006 and has grown to become the largest provider of personal alarm services in North America, according to the company’s website.
In addition to its four medical alert systems, Philips Lifeline offers an automated medication dispensing device. The dispenser plays an alarm at pre-set times to remind seniors to take their medication and then releases the dose. 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.
Who Philips Lifeline Is Best For
Seniors Who Take Numerous Medications
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 those with complex regimens or forgetful seniors who often accidentally miss doses. The Automated Medication Dispenser helps seniors stick to their schedule, and 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 Living 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Standard||HomeSafe with Auto-Alert||GoSafe 2||GoSafe|
|Type of Device||In-home system||In-home system||Mobile system||In-home and mobile system|
|Connection||Landline or Cellular||Landline or Cellular||Cellular||Landline or Cellular|
|Battery Life||48-hour backup||48-hour backup||2-3 days||7 days; 48-hour backup|
|Range||500 feet||500 feet||N/A||N/A|
|Fall Detection||Not available||Included||Included||Included|
*The cellular model costs an extra $14 a month
**The cellular model costs an extra $15 a month
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.
Philips Lifeline operates its own Philips Response Centers to monitor all of its devices. There are several monitoring center locations in both the U.S. and Canada. All centers are able to stay functional even during a power outage, and in the event that one center has a technical issue, the others can cover its service area.
All Response Associates undergo intensive training and together manage an average of 18,000 emergency calls per day. Interpreter services are always available to provide calls with emergency support in over 140 languages.