Philips Lifeline review

In our Philips Lifeline review, we look at the overall disappointing results of the performance and pricing of this medical alert service.

Philips Lifeline review of its medical alert systems
Philips Lifeline's medical alert systems feature sleek pill-shaped pendants.
(Image: © Philips Lifeline)

TechRadar Verdict

Excellent wireless pendant range and great audio quality in the in-home system, but Philips Lifeline’s response time and prices are too high to compete with the best medical alert systems we reviewed.


  • +

    Unmatched pendant range in our tests

  • +

    Excellent speakerphone quality


  • -

    Expensive pricing and fees

  • -

    Subpar performance overall

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Philips Lifeline is perhaps the most recognizable name in the medical alert industry, behind only Life Alert. The Philips brand, a manufacturer of medical and electronic equipment, adds a layer of trust to the systems it offers. In addition, it's one of the few services we reviewed to own and operate their own monitoring center. 

That said, in our Philips Lifeline review of its medical alert systems, we wish the performance of the medical alert systems were more impressive. This company makes systems that you don’t find with other companies, which is a welcome change. That said, the structure is still very similar to the other services with a landline, cellular, and mobile package. And the overall performance and pricing isn't enough to make it stand out.

Medical alert systems

In our tests, the HomeSafe posted the longest average range of any medical alert system at 149 feet. We tested this in an apartment complex where we had multiple walls and floors between the pendant and the base station. At an average of 149 feet, you can roam quite far from the base station and still call for help. By comparison, the average range for other systems was about 77 feet. Still, 149 feet might be too much range for most seniors. 

Keep in mind, the further you roam from the base station, the less likely you are to communicate with the emergency operator. The good news is the operator will send an ambulance if they can’t effectively communicate with you. The bad news is you can easily get a false alert from this distance and have no idea that your pendant called for help, especially if you’re using a fall detection pendant. 

The audio quality of the HomeSafe is excellent. It’s not as loud as the MyTrex or the MobileHelp CBS-02, which makes the long range all the more worrisome, but at least the audio is very clear.

Philips Lifeline medical alert system

The Philips Lifeline base station has excellent audio. (Image credit: Future)

The GoSafe 2 is a unique mobile medical alert system. We previously tested the GoSafe, which combined a mobile system with an in-home system, but we had trouble communicating through the pendant, which was supposed to act like a mobile medical alert system when out of range of the base station. With the GoSafe 2, this all goes away and you get a similarly shaped “pill” device with an excellent speaker. It’s aesthetically more pleasing to wear and use than any other mobile medical alert system we’ve tested. 

The fall detection of the GoSafe 2 was simply average. In our tests, we simulated falls in a variety of ways to gauge the sensitivity and accuracy of the pendants. In these tests, we found the auto fall to work about 50 percent of the time. It wasn’t too sensitive, which is good.

Emergency response center 

On its website, Philips Lifeline claims its average response time is 22 seconds from the moment you press the help button to the moment an operator answers. We did not find this to be the case. In our first round of tests, the service’s average response time was 54 seconds. By comparison, this was the seventh fastest average time. GreatCall averaged 20 seconds. In the second round of tests, Philips Lifeline averaged 49 seconds. Again, this was about average. Certainly, we never saw a response time close to 22 seconds.

Philips Lifeline medical alert system

The HomeSafe's fall detection pendant worked about 50 percent of the time in our tests. (Image credit: Future)

We also weren’t impressed with the quality of the calls. Philip Lifeline’s operators were often difficult to understand, as they often spoke fast or with a strong accent, resulting in many requests to repeat themselves. In some cases, the operators sounded bored, speaking in a monotone reserved for those with little interest in what they’re doing.

Medical alert service

We like that Philips Lifeline has medical alert systems that you won’t find other services using because they manufacture these systems themselves. We also like that the company owns and operates its monitoring center, as this means they are fully responsible for the training and quality. That said, we weren’t impressed with the training or quality. And when you look at the pricing, any value these traits held is quickly lost. 

Philips Lifeline medical alert system

Philips Lifeline sells an impressive medication reminder system. (Image credit: Philips Lifeline)

The Philips Care app is an excellent aspect to the systems, however. Included with every medical alert system, the Philips Care app provides a space where caretakers and family members can share notes, medication reminders, doctor’s appointments, and more. They can also check in on you and receive texts when you’ve pressed the help button.

Cost comparison

Philips Lifeline is one of the most expensive medical alert services in our review. For starters, each package has an activation fee of either $50 or $99. The monthly fees for the HomeSafe landline system is $30 per month, which is average, but the cellular version is $44 per month, a cost that is nearly $10 more per month than similar in-home cellular systems. For example, MobileHelp offers their in-home cellular system for $25 per month and Medical Guardian offers the same system for $35 per month.  Adding the AutoAlert fall detection pendant increases the price by nearly $20 per month while most services charge just $10 for a fall detection pendant.

Philips Lifeline pricing comparison

Each system requires a one-time activation fee. (Image credit: Philips Lifeline)

 The GoSafe 2 is also expensive for a mobile system, starting at $50 per month with a one-time equipment fee of $99. When you consider the GreatCall Lively Mobile is $25 per month for a superior device, it’s simply not worth it.   

Final Verdict

Philips Lifeline has the brand recognition of Philips and the resources to develop and manufacture medical alert systems that no other service uses. This alone makes it an interesting option in a sea of medical alert clones, but the overall performance and pricing is underwhelming. 

Despite owning their own monitoring center, the quality and speed of the calls simply doesn’t compare to most of the services we tested. And while the range of the wireless pendant of the HomeSafe was impressive, the cost of the packages overall is exorbitant by comparison. To put it simply, there are better medical alert services to choose from.

Jeph Preece

Jeph Preece is an ambitiously creative writer, editor, and content strategist with over seven years of digital publishing experience and five years teaching and admin experience in academia. He is specialized in short-form and long-form, purpose-driven content. Jeph is also an accomplished artist, musician, and author of innovative fiction.