Best Medical Management System
In the 1970s, gerontologist Andrew Dibner, Ph.D. and his wife Susan founded Lifeline Systems, Inc, which would eventually become Philips Lifeline. Lifeline Systems provided hospitals and other healthcare organizations with its wireless emergency alarm. It was one of the first companies to make the life-saving technology available. The company was acquired by Philips in 2006 and now offers three medical alert systems, as well as some useful add-on devices, to customers throughout North America.
One of Philips Lifeline's available add-on devices is an automated medication dispensing device. The device can be programmed as an alarm to remind seniors to take their medication and release the proper dose of a user’s medications. The device holds up to 60 cups of medicine and can release six doses of medication per day, a much higher capacity than most other medication dispensing systems. 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 comparable device on the market. 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.
Seniors Who Live in Larger Homes
Seniors who live in larger homes may worry that their voice will not reach the in-home base station to speak with the monitoring center. To solve this problem, 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. Most in-home devices have a range of 600-1,300 feet, so Philips Lifeline can be an appealing option for seniors who live in larger homes.
Seniors Who Are Prone to Falls
Medical alert systems make it easy for seniors to get emergency assistance. However, it is possible that a user may become incapacitated and unable to press their personal help button. Automatic fall detection is potentially lifesaving for those who are prone to falls and may find themselves one of these situations. The HomeSafe with AutoAlert system includes Philips Lifeline’s “highly tested fall detection technology” built into the monthly cost.
Plans and Starting Costs
All Philips Lifeline customers must pay for their devices on a month-to-month basis. No other payment options are available.
The systems range in price from $29.95 for the basic in-home system to $49.95 for the mobile 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. However, 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 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.
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.
|HomeSafe Standard||HomeSafe with Auto-Alert||GoSafe 2|
|Type of Device||In-home system||In-home system||Mobile system|
|Connection||Landline or Cellular||Landline or Cellular||Cellular|
|Battery Life||48-hour backup||48-hour backup||2-3 days|
|Range||500 feet||500 feet||N/A|
|Fall Detection||Not available||Included||Included|
*The cellular model costs an extra $14 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.
Caregivers and family members of Philips Lifeline users also have access to the Philips Cares application at no extra cost. Philips Cares makes it easy for multiple people to collaborate on managing the user’s care and well-being.
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.