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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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Glenda Drebick Olympia, WA

I like my Lifeline. It seems to be great but I have nothing to compare it with as it is the only one I have had. I think the piece that goes around my neck is not the most attractive thing and beings it is material will get dirty faster than other material although it does not hurt my neck. The only complaint I have is that when I tried the device to see if it worked well while down town, it seemed to take quite awhile before the receiver talked to me. I understand they call the home device first before the device I am wearing. Seems like a long time but perhaps waiting seems longer than it really is.

5 years ago

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Rebecca Wamsley Mill Creek, WV

We are very happy with our service. My husbands uncle recently had an amputation of the leg and he lives alone. We live about a mile from him but we are a busy family. He recently fell and this helped him get timely help. Thank goodness I urged him to get it. Last time he fell with no button he laid there for 4 hours because he couldn't get around to a phone. This is a life saver for us and now makes us worry less. We don't have to worry about leaving the state. We are the only family members who care for him. Great peace of mind to have.

3 years ago

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Before my husband's grandmother passed away, she was a lifeline subscriber. Knowing she wore the lifeline pendant made her family members feel better and more confident when she was alone. It was very helpful when she fell in the bathroom and was unable to move. The help button late assisted her when she had a moderate stroke. Thank you, Lifeline, for providing a necessary service to our aging population.

8 years ago

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Paul Hamilton Estero, FL

We used the lifeline alert for my mother in law for about a year at 3 different times. (stayed with us for periods of time). The people at the call center were very helpful in transferring service to our location and in helping to get it set up. The hardware was very user friendly. The response time was always prompt when we needed help (non-emergency basis on our part). I would recommend this product.

8 years ago

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George Amazeen

I had the regular service 2 weeks and fell two times within 3 weeks.I then decided to to obtain the "fall" service which saved me from a serious fall where I blacked out. The emergency response came and took me to ER. I could have laid in bath room a long time before I was found if not for FALL button..

5 years ago

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jerry key Oak Ridge, TN

the people i have talk to eather by phone or i hit my button by mistake was always freindley nice and understanting and i want to say thank you

6 years ago

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Lifeline has been helpful to my aging mother who falls fairly frequently. More than anything, it has given her (and me) peace of mind.

8 years ago

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Gail Eehling Canton, OH

All checked items ave been dealt with through time. Very dependable!

5 years ago

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Jim Irwin

Button is a little sensitive. Cost is a little high.

6 years ago