The Bottom Line: Pricey, but Durable and Great for Location Tracking.
If budget isn’t an issue, Philips Lifeline is an excellent choice for a medical alert system. Our top pick in this suite of products costs up to $600 per year or $56 per month. Philips Lifeline gives its users the flexibility to feel safe at home and on the go with features like AutoAlert fall detection, up to six forms of tracking, and easy-to-install equipment.
Of the four plans available for this medical alert system, our favorite is the HomeSafe with AutoAlert. It includes a home base station and a waterproof pendant you can take with you anywhere. Plus, it works with or without a landline. The cellular optionprovides backup if GPS or Wi-Fi isn’t active, so you can gethelp if you have a fall or accident in the basement or out in the garden.
That said, Philips Lifeline isn’t a budget-friendly system. It costs about the same as an internet bill, making it a tough sell for many people without the extra cash. Plus, additional charges like activation fees and even self-installation fees can hike up the price. See how it compares to the best medical alert systems in our full review.
*The cost of twelve monthly payments from the lowest-priced plan, plus the activation fee and self-installation.
Philips Lifeline costs a minimum of $29.95 per month, which is about average for a medical alert system. Other companies like Medical Guardian, GetSafe, and LifeFone have basic packages in the same price range. But the equipment on sale for this price requires a landline and isn’t designed for more active adults. Even with this modest price, you’ll still have to pay an activation fee of $50 and pay for installation whether you hire a professional ($99) or do it yourself ($19.95).
Every plan requires an installation fee. Even do-it-yourselfers will have to account for an additional $20 tacked onto their initial bill. Thankfully, this isn’t a feature seen in many medical alert systems, but at least the installation fees are consistent for every plan. Self-installation is always an extra $20, and professional help is an additional $100 no matter what package you choose.
The good news is there are more affordable medical alert systems, but they may not have the features Philips does. So while you pay a hefty fee for this service, the tech you get is high quality.
Philips Lifeline Tech
Philips Lifeline has four main packages for all activity levels. The Lifeline pendant is the heart of all these systems. In the HomeSafe Standard package, you can wear the Lifeline as a bracelet or pendant and call for help with a single button. Each necklace and bracelet has two-way communication that lets you reach support wherever you are. These alert devices are all waterproof too, so you can take them in the shower, pool, or out in the rain.
The HomeSafe Standard and HomeSafe with AutoAlert connect to your landline or local cellular network. These products are hybrids of at-home and on-the-go medical alert systems that work for almost any lifestyle. We’re personally fond of the AutoAlert system because it comes with automatic fall detection, making it easy to call for help if you fall.
Both systems have long battery life and are easy to set up. The cellular and landline systems take only a few minutes to install, but you can opt for professional installation and orientation for $99.
GoSafe and GoSafe 2
The GoSafe and GoSafe 2 are designed for independent older adults. The in-home unit is similar to the HomeSafe cellular model and can call for help remotely if you use your pendant to send a signal. Like most of Philips Lifeline’s products, the GoSafe packages cost a bit of money. The landline model costs $54.95 per month while the cellular unit costs $64.95 per month.
The GoSafe 2 unit is fully cellular and designed for the most active users. A pendant-only package, it comes with built-in AutoAlert for falls and five forms of location technology. While it costs a lot monthly, it’s a good investment if having a fall outside your home is a possibility.
AutoAlert Fall Detection
Most medical alert systems consider fall detection a separate service, selling it as an add-on in a different pendant or wristband. Philips Lifeline’s fall detection, also called AutoAlert, comes included in several of its packages.
The Philips pendants use an accelerometer, a barometer, and specially designed algorithms to measure speed, height, and pressure to sense falls. If you take a sudden spill on the stairs, your Philips pendant will notice and allow you 30 seconds to get up on your own. If you’re unable to move or respond, a monitoring professional will contact you through the two-way communicator on the device. Falls are a serious threat to adults 65 and older. So while this feature can be expensive, it may be worth the investment.
Advanced Location Technology
The location technology in the Philips Lifeline system uses multiple methods of tracking and pinpointing so help can find you no matter where you are.
A-GPS: Also called “assisted GPS,” this technology uses a satellite network to pinpoint the device’s location. It’s the most common form of location technology used in medical alert systems and can be helpful in public places like malls or parks.
Wi-Fi: You’d be hard-pressed to find a place without Wi-Fi. That’s why Philips Lifeline added a feature that connects to nearby Wi-Fi hotspots like hotels, restaurants, or homes to help first responders find your location.
Location breadcrumbs: Unlike Hansel and Gretel, you won’t get lost in the woods with this tech. This feature takes ongoing snapshots of your location throughout the day to create a digital trail of where you’ve gone.
Two-way communication: If these other systems fail or cannot connect, the two-way intercom built into the device lets you speak to a Philips pro. These trained professionals will call for help from your friends, family, or first responders depending on your needs.
Audio beacon: This feature emits a loud siren to help assistance get to you faster. The audio beacon is especially useful if you’re stuck in a dark place or hidden from plain view.
In-home communicator: This feature sends a signal to the in-home communicator to contact help from Philips. You’d have to opt for one of the GoSafe units for this feature, though.
The medication dispenser is another monthly service from Philips Lifeline that is particularly helpful for caretakers or those living alone. You load up the small medication cups with your daily doses (morning, afternoon, and night), then add them to the dispenser. It can be beneficial for anyone who needs help remembering to frequently take medications. But at $59.95 per month, it’s an expensive way to remember your daily medications.
Data effective 07/22/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
While Philips Lifeline and its famous competitor Life Alert fall into a similar price range, Life Alert costs more for less equipment. And you won’t be able to find the same kind of information from Life Alert regarding prices, policies, and equipment specs. Philips products are updated and full of features that dwarf Life Alert’s small three-product system.
On the other hand, Bay Alarm Medical is the most affordable of the three. But its cheapest plan is a landline base station and wearable. The wearable doesn’t come with fall detection or location pinpointing either. Compared to Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert, Philips Lifeline is full of features but it’s much more expensive.
Philips Lifeline FAQs
How much does Philips Lifeline cost?
Philips Lifeline prices depend on which package, connection type, and installation method you choose. It can range anywhere from $29.95 to $64.95 per month. While activation fees vary with package level, you can always expect to pay $19.99 for self-installation and $99 for professional installation.
How does Philips AutoAlert work?
Philips Lifeline’s fall detection measures height, barometric pressure, and speed to detect sudden movements like those in a fall. It also comes equipped with an advanced algorithm to weed out false alarms from real ones. If you do fall, your AutoAlert device will wait 30 seconds before calling for help and connecting you to a Philips monitoring professional.
What is the Philips medication dispenser?
This service provides you with an automatic dispenser for medicine. You can set and change your schedule, amounts, and frequency depending on your regimen. It costs $59.95, but this is a unique device we didn’t find from many other medical alert systems.
Philips Lifeline is expensive, but you get what you pay for. Each of the Philips packages includes a suite of helpful features like two-way communication and waterproof design. For a little extra, you can get six forms of location tracking and AutoAlert fall detection. The engineers and designers at Philips Lifeline have thought their product through. The HomeSafe and GoSafe packages are well designed, durable, and created to give you peace of mind. Just be ready to carve out room in your budget for this equipment.
How We Reviewed Philips Lifeline
Philips Lifeline has an in-depth website with information about its equipment, policies, and pricing. So we read all of it. We combed through product manuals, customer reviews, fine print, and more to get a complete picture of what it’s like to be a Philips Lifeline customer before creating this review. We’ve also done the same with Philips’s competitors like Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert. Learning more about these other companies gave us a frame of reference to how Philips’ prices and product packages compare to similar services. To learn more about our policies for reviews and articles like this one, read our full methodology.
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more