Philips Lifeline is a medical alert device company that sells a few different kinds of products. While some companies offer many different types of items, Lifeline focuses on a few core areas — with available add-ons and modifications — for seniors. This includes in-home base units and on-the-go pendants for use away from the home.
- Written by Christian Simmons
Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.Read More
- Edited ByLamia Chowdhury
Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.Read More
- Reviewed ByRobin Schiltz, C.D.S.
Robin Schiltz, C.D.S.
Senior Safety Expert
Robin Schiltz is a certified Senior Home Safety Specialist and a certified CARES® Dementia Specialist™. In addition, Robin is the co-owner of Senior Safety Advice, an online platform that provides well-researched information and solutions for caregivers and seniors. Robin is an experienced writer in the financial and senior care industries.Read More
- Published: July 20, 2022
- Updated: May 23, 2023
- 6 min read time
- This page features 2 Cited Research Articles
- Edited By
What Is Philips Lifeline?
Lifeline, formerly known as Philips Lifeline, is a medical alert device company that focuses on senior alert devices.
These are essentially ways for you to get immediate help in the event of an emergency. Lifeline products typically include an alert button that you can press if you fall or find yourself in a medical situation in order to be connected with an operator that can contact emergency services.
Lifeline largely sticks to base alert products while selling some auxiliary and complimentary items as well. This is a departure from some competitors that sell many different types of medical alert equipment.
This can be both a good and bad thing. The lack of diversity allows Lifeline to focus on and deliver several really good and effective products while also not confusing customers with numerous options that seem to heavily overlap with what they offer.
But it also means that Lifeline does not sell some of the newer tech options that have sprung up in recent years such as specialized cellphones or smartwatches.
Lifeline offers two types of medical alerts – an in-home version and a mobile option. Both devices can have automatic fall detection added, so you can get help if you fall and become unconscious.
What Medical Alert Systems Does Philips Lifeline Offer?
Lifeline sells several base products that vary in the exact type of service that they provide to the user.
- On the Go
- Automatic Fall Detection
HomeSafe is Lifeline’s in-home protection option. It includes an in-home unit with a speaker that is connected to a pendant that you wear or carry around while in your home.
As long as you are within range of the speaker (the range should cover your whole house) then you can press the button in an emergency and an operator can contact you through the speaker.
Remember that the speaker is on the base unit and not the pendant itself. If you are too far away to communicate and the operator doesn’t hear anything, they should contact emergency services right away.
The help button is also waterproof so you can keep it with you while in the shower or bath. HomeSafe starts at $29.95 and goes up with add-ons and service changes. There is also a $50 activation fee.
Lifeline’s option for out-of-home protection is On the Go. According to the company’s website, On the Go includes several different forms of tracking, including GPS monitoring so you can always be quickly found by emergency services if something happens outside of your home.
On the Go includes an alert button pendant that you can wear and carry with you wherever you go. The speaker that can connect you with an operator is right on the pendant, so you don’t have to worry about staying within range of a base unit. It’s also water resistant.
The monthly price for On the Go starts at $49.95 and includes an activation fee of $99.95.
How Do Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Systems Work?
Lifeline’s medical alert systems work similarly to those of other medical alert device companies. Whether you opt for the in-home or on the go option, you will wear a pendant with a help button on it.
If you have a fall or emergency, you should press the help button right away. If you are using the in-home product, then an operator should immediately be connected to you through the base unit speaker. Remember that you have to be home and within range for this to work.
The operator can talk to you and then contact family or emergency services.
If you are using the on-the-go option, then the speaker is directly on your pendant and you can press the button to get help virtually anywhere.
Operators are available 24 hours a day every day, so there is never a point in time where you would press your alert button and not immediately receive help.
Remember that the devices do typically need to be charged to function.
What Other Safety Services Does Philips Lifeline Offer?
Outside of its two base options, Lifeline does offer some auxiliary and add-on services as well.
One of these is automatic fall detection. Fall detection can be especially effective for senior safety by helping to rule out the possibility that you can’t call for help if you are unconscious.
Fall detection can automatically detect a sudden fall and contact emergency services so that you don’t have to.
Lifeline also offers Lifeline Cares. This service, which comes with a Lifeline subscription, is an app that can be used by both seniors and caregivers. The app offers sharing of information and notes, helping seniors and their caregivers to coordinate care and all easily be on the same page.
It’s a nice additional feature that is not offered by many other companies in the industry.
Lifeline sells some additional auxiliary products as well that don’t directly relate to its medical alert systems, such as an automatic medication dispenser.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Philips Lifeline?
There are both major benefits and some noteworthy drawbacks to opting for a Lifeline medical alert device over a competitor.
One major benefit — and perhaps the most important for these types of devices — is that Lifeline is a reliable service that works well. The devices are not overly complicated and you should have no issue getting the help that you need.
The other benefit of opting for Lifeline is avoiding the confusion of too many product options. Several competitors sell a wide range of devices, many of which seemingly overlap in the services they provide.
It can be confusing to figure out exactly which device you need. Lifeline does a good job of simplifying and directing. There is an in-home option that you can then get into the details and modifications on, or an on-the-go option.
But there are some notable cons to Lifeline as well. A major one is the price. Lifeline’s costs run notably higher than many of their competitors. There are some comparable products from other companies that are significantly cheaper, especially when considering monthly fees.
Lifeline also has yet to dip into some of the newer types of technology that are now becoming commonplace in the industry. This includes specialized smartwatches and alert apps that can be added to existing devices you are already carrying with you.
2 Cited Research Articles
- U.S. News & World Report. (2022, March 24). Philips Lifeline Overview and Prices. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/services/medical-alert-system/lifeline
- Lifeline. (n.d.). Find the Right Lifeline Medical Alert System For You. Retrieved from https://www.lifeline.com/product/homesafe-standard-landline-wristband/