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Philips Lifeline

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LAST UPDATED: August 25th, 2022

As a psychologist and gerontologist, Andrew S. Dibner founded Lifeline Systems in 1974 to give elderly persons a viable solution to getting emergency medical help. The company initially sold its services to commercial entities, such as hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and has since transitioned to selling directly to consumers.

Today, Philips Lifeline remains one of the top medical alert services in the United States, having served over seven million customers.

The company's medical alert service doesn't require any long-term contracts, and multiple medical alert plans are available. Read our Philips Lifeline review below to see the pros and cons of the medical alert company. 

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The Good

  • Fall Detection Available
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Variety of Medical Alert Packages
  • Worry-Free Batteries
  • Waterproof Devices
  • Choice of Landline or Cellular Connection
  • Easy Installation and Optional Installation Assistance

Fall Detection Available

Philips Lifeline's fall detection feature, AutoAlert, uses smart sensors to identify a fall and automatically send an alert to Philips Lifeline if a fall is detected. This means customers don't have to worry about pushing their medical alert button themselves, especially if when they fall, they are unable to move.

Philips Lifeline's monitoring center will notify family members and emergency responders immediately and will send help without the customer having to do anything. There is also two-way communication in the medical alert pendant, so you can speak to the emergency operators directly if desired.

No Long-Term Contracts

Philips Lifeline does not require customers to sign any long-term contracts for its products and services. This can provide peace of mind for people who want the freedom to cancel their medical alert services if need be.

Variety of Medical Alert Packages

Philips Lifeline offers in-home and on-the-go medical alert systems. The on-the-go GoSafe system includes mobile solutions with six locating technologies, including GPS and Wi-Fi, to help locate the medical alert customer simply and quickly. Philips Lifeline's alert pendant, base station, and other equipment for all of its offered packages are rigorously-tested, medical-grade, and FDA-listed. Package details are below:

HomeSafe Standard

  • Activation fee
  • Free equipment
  • Pendant or wristband
  • At-home coverage
  • In-home communicator with two-way voice communication
  • Landline or wireless connection
  • 24/7 access to help
  • Month-to-month billing
  • Personalized response plan

HomeSafe with AutoAlert

  • Everything included in HomeSafe Standard Plan
  • Pendant only
  • AutoAlert fall detection

GoSafe 2

  • Everything included in HomeSafe with AutoAlert Plan
  • Free activation
  • Equipment fee
  • Coverage for at-home and on-the-go

Worry-Free Batteries

The emergency button has a lengthy rechargeable battery life. The communicator unit has up to 30 hours of battery backup, which gives you access to help even during power outages. Philips Lifeline automatically replaces the battery for the HomeSafe products when needed. The GoSafe products have a year warranty, but the user is responsible for replacing the battery when needed.

Waterproof Devices 

Philips’ medical alert devices are water-resistant and work in the bath or shower where falls are common. This gives customers extra protection and makes it so they don't have to worry about taking the medical alert device on and off. 

Choice of Landline or Cellular Connection

In the medical alert industry, it's common for companies to offer plans that include either a landline connection or a cellular connection; most often you can't choose a plan and then decide whether or not you want it to be cellular- or landline-based. Philips Lifeline allows customers to choose which one they'd prefer. Keep in mind the cellular versions of the medical alert plans are more expensive, and you'll still pay an activation fee regardless for both options. 

Easy Installation and Optional Installation Assistance

Philips Lifeline comes with an easy step-by-step voice-guided installation process. Upon request, Philips Lifeline can send a skilled technician to your home to ensure that everything is installed properly and that the system is securely connected to the monitoring center. This is a unique offering within the industry, as most companies don't offer professional installation as part of their medical alert services.

The technician will call you to schedule a two-hour time slot that works with your schedule. Be aware that the optional installation help does require a one-time installation fee. However, you can also have the equipment mailed to you so you can set it up yourself for no additional cost.

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The Bad

  • Range/Distance Limitations
  • Expensive Pricing
  • Activation Fee
  • Equipment Fee
  • Delayed Shipping
  • Negative Reviews
  • Missing Certifications

Range/Distance Limitations

Philips Lifeline doesn’t have a specific range from the base station for its products. The range of the base unit to the help button varies depending on the specifications of the house itself. The company also warns the range in and around your home must be tested.

The mobile Philips Lifeline system has coverage anywhere with AT&T service, but the range varies depending on cell tower coverage in that particular area. However, this is to be expected with most medical alert devices.

Expensive Pricing

Philips Lifeline pricing is on the higher-end when compared to other medical alert providers. For example, Medical Guardian, the #1 rated medical alert company on the market, has a landline-based medical alert system that is around $30 per month with no activation fee or equipment fee. Philips Lifeline, on the other hand, has a comparable landline package with a $60 monthly cost and a $50 activation fee. Although Philips Lifeline's package includes fall detection, Medical Guardian offers automatic fall detection for only $10 extra per month. Philips Lifeline is still significantly more expensive. 

Activation Fee

For all of Philips Lifeline's at-home medical alert systems, a $50 activation fee is required. Activation fees aren't uncommon, but many top-rated medical alert companies don't charge an activation fee, regardless if you choose a mobile or home-based system. 

If you opt for Philips Lifeline's GoSafe 2 mobile plan, you won't have to pay an activation fee; however, you will need to pay a one-time equipment fee. 

Equipment Fee 

As noted in the previous paragraph, Philips Lifeline charges an equipment fee if you purchase its mobile plan, GoSafe 2. Competing medical alert companies don't charge equipment fees unless it's for high-tech equipment, such as a medical alert smartwatch. It's definitely disappointing Philips Lifeline charges nearly $100 just for a mobile medical alert help button, especially when the majority of medical alert companies on the market don't charge for this type of equipment. 

Delayed Shipping

Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 mobile plan takes 6–8 weeks to ship. This is quite the delay and could be inconvenient if you're looking to have medical alert protection as soon as possible. The at-home plans ship quicker, closer to 2–5 days

Negative Reviews

More than half of Philips Lifeline reviews are 1 or 2 stars. This is disappointing and alarming when you want to trust the medical alert company you choose has happy customers. Given its low star rating, that doesn't seem to be the case with Philips Lifeline. 

Missing Certifications

Philips Lifeline notes on its website that its response center has a professionally trained staff, but it does not state if the response center is CSAA Five Diamond Certified or if its staff has specific certifications.

A CSAA Five Diamond Certification means a company is nationally approved with security excellence. To be certified, companies are randomly inspected to ensure they are meeting industry standards for customer service, security, and safety. Without this certification, it's difficult to trust Philips Lifeline has a high-performing response center, especially since the majority of highly rated medical alert companies have this certification.

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The Bottom Line

Unlike many medical alert companies, Philips Lifeline pricing includes an activation fee for its landline packages and an equipment fee for its mobile medical alert service. Philips Lifeline's monthly cost is also more expensive than medical alert providers who are providing similar services, and quite often, more medical alert features for less.

Although the equipment is easy to install, Philips Lifeline does offer customers the option for professional installation for an additional fee. 

With affordable pricing and customer reviews being such an important factor when choosing a medical alert provider, we cannot confidently recommend Philips Lifeline since the medical alert service has high pricing and negative customer feedback. 

We suggest looking into other top-rated companies before making your purchasing decision. Many companies on the market include cheaper monthly prices, no activation or equipment fees, and higher quality products with better customer feedback.  

Read Philips Lifeline reviews below to learn more about the customer experience. 

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68 Reviews

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Lori Bermani Salem, MA

What I like best about the Company is that this Lifeline has a GPS. I have reached out to the high end executives to the point of absolutely no communication. In Dec. of 2019, I got Lifeline Philips pendant. That was 7 months ago. I got a serious allergic reaction to the plastic that slid under my nightgown one night about 7 days after getting the device. My chest blew up into red blistering hives ,and the plastic like bead that is attached to the necklace also blew up the side of my neck with a huge red hive. I ended up ordering little pouch bags made of cotton to keep my pendant in. Is there anyone out there that can actually call me, communicate with me ? All I can say is your Customer Service is the worst. Don't invest a dime into this Company !!!!

2 years ago

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cclouca Monterey, CA

I am a paying subscriber for approximately two years. I have discontinued my service due to their lack of response to my request to relocate my in-home unit and provide me with a wrist alert bracelet which would replace my pendant. I had a recent fall this weekend and due to a neck injury, I am unable to wear my pendant. I contacted Phillips Lifeline to help me with my request, but I was informed because I subscribed with a local service league, I had to contact them for my service needs. I explained the local service league didn’t have the installers schedule, therefore they could not help me with an appointment. Would Phillips help me instead? The answer was, no. I pay my monthly fee faithfully for a service aide which didn’t help when I needed it. I find Phillips lack of response unacceptable. I am trying to remedy my situation before I fall again. To add insult to my issue they are charging me for the full month of December and my service is ending tomorrow December 5th. Buyer beware!!! Basically, medical alert systems are the same. It’s “customer service “ I need to focus on.

4 years ago

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Ana Southborough, MA

I have subscribed to Lifeline for my 89 year old father. In a few months, I have received two calls from Philips, saying that the service is to be stopped because the funding discountinued. The first time I got the call I felt totally lost as I do not understand why the patient has to deal with the funding issue and it was only one month after the subscription. I called the insurance anyway to resolve it. Today I have received the same call again that is only three months after the last one. Do other subscribers who are in need of the service get threatened from time to time that the service will stop due to funding? Isn't Philips' job to renew the funding with the insurance company when needed? It is simply too much for the patient to deal with the funding renewal every three months. Philips should have a policy and system in place to resolve the funding issue. It is not the patuents' job! Do other subscribers experience the same problem? Also, I just realized now that there is a fall feature with the Lifeline that was never presented to me. My father did have a fall at home. I just learnt about it from reading other subscribers' reviews, which actually made me concerned about the dependability of the Lifeline.

4 years ago

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Anne Bloomingdale, NJ

My mother was on lifeline for years. In July of 2013 I left her alone for an hour to take my sister to the bus station and stop at the store. When I returned my mother was gone and a note was left on the door that the local ambulance squad had taken her to the hospital. hospital. When I walked in I was shocked to find the carpet satuated with blood. Apparently she had gotten up right after I left, fell and struck her had head on a brass planter and. She was unconscious for some time and then woke up and called the ambulance company herself, even though her lifeline pendant was on. It never registered her fall. Unfortunately, because I was not with her when she arrived at the hospital, a CAT scan was done with dye and her kidneys shut down due to the dye. She fitted, at home, for weeks later with her five daughters with her .I will never forgive myself for leaving her that day. My ·Question is, when did the new feature start and why can they not have the patients medical issues somehow connected with the device? It would have made the difference between life and deat. Her kidneys could not tolerate the dye and she had required dialysis twice before. Unfortunately this time her kidneys could not recover.and the doctors never accessed her hospital records. Had the done so, she would still be here. I'm considering Lifeline for myself, I have MS and fall frequently. I also have other medical issues. I w would feel better off I knew whatever hospital I was taken to could see access my records via a database accessed through Lifeline.

7 years ago

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Robin Campiglia Watsonville, CA

They took 2 payments in one month - last July. Not able to contact their billing dept at all. There is no number and the customer reps cannot connect to it. I have called several times to leave a message and they do not return the call. I recently switched to auto payments and now the account is 2 months behind. But like I said there is no way to communicate with billing and the customer reps have no info to give. I am thinking about changing companies

6 years ago

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Nancy Benedict Austin, TX

Philips lifeline request by mail a payment for 129.00 dollars which I was glad to pay for them, their company without authorization use my checking account to withdrawal 33.00 dollars per month,Just recently for the amount of checking my account notice they charge me for the month of february twice 33.00 dollar x two.please be aware.

3 years ago

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Irene B. Hembree

Have called customer service three times trying to get the backup battery service, it's been out over a month. Each call was promised a service call but no one has replied.

5 years ago