Most Philips Lifeline reviews speak positively about the quality, features, and technology of the medical alert systems this company offers. The pioneer of medical alert buttons, previously known as Lifeline Systems, was established by gerontologist Andrew Dibner, PhD, back in 1974.
In 2006, after the acquisition of Lifeline, Philips saw further growth. Today, the firm is the number-one provider with the largest subscriber base—it offers viable solutions for getting emergency medical help while supporting the independence of elderly adults.
By constantly innovating their products and services, the company has put its roots down as one of the top medical alert systems, a reputation well deserved. Reports are showing that an average of seven million consumers in the United States have opted for Philips Lifeline services despite them being some of the most expensive on the market.
In this review, we are going to introduce you to the complete lineup of products made by this company as well as the specific features they come packed with, which every customer should take into consideration. Let’s dig in!
The Complete Lineup of Philips Lifeline Products
The company supplies home-based medical alert systems through their HomeSafe line and mobile alert systems through the GoSafe line, totaling four products available to consumers.
While these cover most of a senior’s lifestyle needs, a Philips Lifeline medication dispenser service is also available, a feature not easily found with other brands from the industry. The medication dispenser comes with a dispenser button and an audio reminder that can help prevent dangerous medication errors, which we consider a big plus.
On another note, we stumbled upon a few complaints regarding the company’s lack of wall-mounted buttons. However, we respect Philips’s policy here as it encourages people to wear their waterproof buttons at all times—yes, even in the shower. With this in mind, we are willing to turn a blind eye. In fact, Alert1 is the only company that offers all the additional features you can think of.
Philips Lifeline HomeSafe Line Overview
The HomeSafe line offers two variations of a medical alert system for those who like staying at home: the HomeSafe Standard and the upgraded HomeSafe with AutoAlert.
Customers can choose between landline and cellular monitoring, and to our surprise, the setups for these two options differ.
Though the equipment for most in-home medical alert systems is practically the same for the landline and cellular options, when it comes to the Philips Lifeline medical alert systems, we found that different monitoring also implies the use of different base units and pendants.
While buyers appreciate having the choice, the fact that the cellular option comes with an additional fee is not something people consider a pro. The basic option is reasonably priced, but be aware that monthly fees can significantly increase when you add different features.
Moreover, these systems require an activation fee, and Philips doesn’t put forward a price break if you pay quarterly or annually—they work with monthly subscriptions exclusively. Even though the HomeSafe line by Philips Lifeline costs a bit more as opposed to other providers of home-based medical alert systems, we’d like to point out that taking everything into consideration, both of the products from this line make a good choice and are worth the money.
In regards to the design, we find it to be a bit unusual; the landline base comes with a huge Reset button on the top right, while the much more important Help button is smaller and placed on the right. However, people usually call for help by using a portable Philips Lifeline wristband or a pendant style button, so we are willing to overlook the design flaws. Moving on to the left side of the device, the speaker is placed on the top left, and the microphone is on the bottom. There is also a volume controller, a feature we found rather useful yet rarely on other systems.
For a more detailed overview of its performance, check out our in-depth Philips Lifeline HomeSafe review.
HomeSafe Standard vs. HomeSafe with AutoAlert
Both Philips Lifeline HomeSafe options are fully functioning, cutting-edge technologies that provide a feeling of security and independence.
If you’ve come this far reading this Philips Lifeline review, you already realize that these two medical alarm systems are very similar to one another.
However, the HomeSafe with AutoAlert adds a bonus layer of protection since it is enhanced with fall detection technology. Having AutoAlert means that the device can and will react to a fall even if the person wearing it is unable to press the button, allowing help to get dispatched quickly.
Many companies nowadays offer fall detection, but there are still those that don’t, like Life Alert, for example, which is why the company seems to lose customers. That being said, we’d like to emphasize again how important it is for you to be informed about the different features a device like this comes with.
Philips Lifeline GoSafe Line Overview
On paper, the medical alarm devices from the GoSafe line seem like the most full-featured products and the perfect choice for seniors who like to stay active. Both of the systems have numerous outstanding touches, but we are more interested in how they work in reality.
We tested the original GoSafe and the latest GoSafe 2, and we agree that they deserve to rank as some of the top medical alarm buttons available on the market.
The original GoSafe was launched at the end of October 2014, the very first cellular-enabled, mobile version of a medical alarm system by Philips.
Leveraging a number of technologies and never-before-seen features, it’s no wonder there are only a few Philips Lifeline complaints regarding this model. To this day, it remains one of the most reliable and trusted devices of its kind.
The unique AutoAlert technology—the most reliable and trusted fall detection automation—comes as a built-in feature in the GoSafe option. This model may seem similar to home-based medical alert systems, but on top of having an in-home communicator, the GoSafe also comes with a GPS pendant that enables users to access help whenever and wherever they are, at home or out and about.
Philips Lifeline, based in Framingham, has partnered with Skyhook, a Boston-based leader in location positioning, to develop a location platform for emergency response. This platform allows the GoSafe device to locate the user using a number of locating technologies, such as two-way voice communication, the in-home communicator, Wi-Fi locating, etc.
Like the original GoSafe, the second iteration of this line also comes with outstanding locating technologies. To track your location, the system will try to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. In case that doesn’t work, it will move to GPS tracking, and if for some reason the signal is too weak, breadcrumb tracking is here to save the day, or possibly a life!
GoSafe 2 is a standalone device that does not double as a home-based medical alert system. As opposed to the HomeSafe line, the models from this line don’t require any activations fees, but there’s a catch. Both of these systems ask for a different type of Philips Lifeline cost—the one-time device fee. To read more about the costs, features, and performance, check out our in-depth GoSafe 2 review.
GoSafe vs. GoSafe 2
The main difference between the models from this line is the monitoring. While the original GoSafe doubles as a home-based and mobile medical alert system, GoSafe 2 doesn’t need a base unit, it’s just the all-in-one pendant.
In each case, they deliver top-notch security and independence because of the unique tracking software, and we couldn’t find any complaints regarding their functionality.
On the other hand, these devices come with expensive pricing, especially the original GoSafe, which can be a deal-breaker for a number of people.
But every now and then, you can take advantage of a Philips Lifeline promo code and bring down the price of your order.
Additional Features & Accessories
Philips Lifeline AutoAlert fall detection comes as a built-in feature in some of the systems offered by this company. However, if you want to upgrade your HomeSafe device with fall detection, it will cost you an additional $15 per month, as explained in the pricing structure above.
Even though there’s no charge for an additional Help pendant, multiperson monitoring is still one of the most expensive options. The monitoring monthly fee for a landline pendant is $10, and $12 for the cellular. What we did like, though, is the chance to buy a lockbox for a one-time payment of around $30.
Similar to most companies of its kind, Lifeline also doesn’t offer fire and smoke monitoring or wellness checks. The biggest surprise is the fact that there are no Philips Lifeline waterproof wall-mounted buttons either. On a positive note, the company offers voice extensions, an accessory rarely found among other brands from the industry.
How Much Does Philips Lifeline Cost per Month?
Contrary to most of the other medical alert system providers, Philips Lifeline doesn’t include quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment options. Because they work with monthly subscriptions exclusively, they are among the most expensive providers of emergency buttons. Moreover, they also require a one-time activation fee for all of their devices. However, when we compare Philips Lifeline vs Life Alert in this sense, Philips Lifeline offer better deals overall.
The Basic in-home solution, which works via landline, costs around $30 a month, while the cellular option for the same device costs around $42. HomeSafe with AutoAlert is $44.95 a month for a landline connection and $56.95 for cellular. The activation fee for all these options is $50. As far as installation is concerned, they offer self-installation or a technician installation option, the latter costing around $100. After installation, the device is ready to perform at its best.
On the other hand, the GoSafe solutions are a bit pricier, but considering they are fully mobile solutions, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Hence, the GoSafe Landline costs around $55, and the GoSafe Cellular is less than $65. Whether you choose the landline or cellular option, the equipment fee is $149. Lastly, the monthly cost for the Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 is $44.95, and the activation fee is approximately $100.
Philips Lifeline Call Center Review
When it comes to medical alarm systems, the response time is one of the key features. You need fast assistance from someone who is invested in helping you out. Everyone who owns a Philips Lifeline device is entitled to direct access to the response center, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The company claims its average answer time is 12 seconds, but in our tests, it turned out to be 27 seconds, which is still considered a solid time. The call quality managed to score higher respect with us, as the volume and connection were intact, and every operator we spoke to was professional, easy to understand, friendly, and eager to help.
We also made a few calls to the Philips Lifeline customer service, and we were not disappointed. Upon receiving the call, the operators were polite and asked whether we were seeking technical support or answers to questions regarding company policies and also didn’t hesitate to give out additional advice.
The technical support they provided us with left us with no complaints; once we were connected to a trained technician, he tried to walk us through our problem and stayed focused until the issue was sorted out. Even though the installation is rather simple, after reading customers’ feedback, we found that many people couldn’t make sense of the Philips Lifeline manual for installing their devices. We strongly encourage you to call technical support—they have the answers!
Taking all of the above into consideration, our overall score for the call center is a solid B. Although they offer a personalized response, personal care plan, and support in more than 140 languages, we would love to see better response times.
Visit Philips Lifeline’s official website to access their Lifeline blog, downloadable tips and guides, and informative videos, as well as customer stories. For help, call the Philips Lifeline phone number: 1-855-214-1369 (8 am to 10 pm EST).
Pros & Cons of Choosing Philips Lifeline
This leading medical alert service provider stands out from the competition because of the unpaired technologies they feature in all four of their products. They offer waterproof wearable alert buttons with landline and cellular monitoring available.
The AutoAlert technology is the most reliable and highly trusted fall detection automation, present in three of the Phillips models, and the pendant range of the GoSafe options is unmatched. Moreover, the separate medication dispensing system is not easily found with other brands from the industry, but Philips manages to provide customers with that option too.
The one place where the competition edges Philips Lifeline out is the response time. Furthermore, people enjoyed the official customer portal made by Philips Lifeline; the login may be easy, but the portal is unable to process updates to account information, and it’s been like that for quite some time now.
The devices themselves come with a high price tag, and there are no prepayment discounts but rather additional activation and device fees. Moreover, as we discussed in our LifeStation review, the possibility to pay on a quarterly, semi-annual, and annual basis is a big advantage. This brand, however, doesn’t offer such payment plans.