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Philips Lifeline Reviews

Is the Philips Lifeline medical alert service right for you? Through researching Philips Lifeline reviews from users, news reports and comparison of the features with other services, we bring you this review.

Philips Lifeline is one of the largest and longest established operators of medical alert services in the US and Canada. They currently serve about 750,000 customers in North America. The company offers round the clock 24/7 monitoring for medical emergencies.

How Philips Lifeline Works

A customer wear will a small button in the form of a waterproof pendant round the neck or a wrist bracelet. This button is wirelessly connected with a phone line. In case of medical emergencies when the customer falls or experience physical difficulties, he or she can press a button to alert help. Pressing the button quickly places a phone call out to the Lifeline support center. Two way communication is established through the base communicator unit that is connected to the phone. The communicator unit also incorporates voice amplification so that it is easy to listen to what the support center representative is saying.

The monitoring representative will contact family, friends, caregivers or emergency medical services as necessary. While representatives are not medical professionals, they are trained to handle calls for such emergencies and can offer re-assurance to the customer by talking to them in a time of need and letting them know that help is on the way.

Philips Lifeline Medication Dispenser Option

In addition to the classic personal emergency response system, Philips Lifeline also offers a service that reminds users to take their medications in time. They will get an audio reminder that its time to take the medication and push a button to get the pills dispensed.

Both this medical dispenser and the auto alert options below are special service options offered by the Philips Lifeline service, distinguishing it from other similar services. Do note that it is an additional option and will involve addition costs.

Philips Lifeline Auto Alert Option

Philips Lifeline is the first medical alert system to provide an Auto Alert option. With regular systems, the user will need to press the button on their pendant to call for help. Sometimes, the user may become confused or they could lose consciousness after a fall. In that case, the Auto Alert offers additional protection, as the necklace includes a fall sensor that will detect that the user has fallen and an alert will be automatically issued.

Keep in mind that Philips Lifeline cannot guaranteee that all falls will be detected 100% of the time. However, it certainly provides additional protection to the user that is not possible with regular medical alarm systems.

Installation And Set-Up

The Philips Lifeline service and equipment is typically installed through a professional appointment. In some cases, an authorized installer may not be available in the local area, so self-installation is also a possibility. The process is considered technically simple enough by most. The service works best with land telephone lines. VoIP services may or may not work and the specifics of whether Lifeline will work with a specific voice over internet service is something to be discussed with the representative before purchasing.

The set-up process will also involve getting contact numbers of family, friends and caregivers to the Lifeline support center, so that they know who to call in case of emergencies. The customer may also elect to include a locked keybox outside the home for easy access to their home by the contacts and emergency medical services personnel.

Philips Lifeline Review - System Reliability

Range

The wireless range of the service is estimated to be 300 ft to 600 ft depending on whether you are measuring it in an enclosed environment with walls or in a completely open environment. For most home users, this range is sufficient. One user who lives in the country said that at 150 ft away, they were able to get the system to work well. The system was also good enough to establish two-way communications with the Lifeline response center even when the user was in a different room in the home from the base communicator.

A great point about the Philips Lifeline systems is that it allows for customers to add additional communicator units to the system. With medical alert systems, two-way communications is done through the speakerphone of the base unit. To be clear, the pendant with the panic button does not act as a microphone or speaker in any way. So if the customer is at one end of the home and the base communicator unit at the other end, there may be some problems establishing a clear two-way conversation. With the option of adding additional communicator units, the Philips Lifeline system certainly offers customers the ability to communicate with the monitoring center from anywhere.

Response Time

The response time of the alert is fast (under a minute). Most customers say that they are pleased with the speed of getting a response. If you read through various Philips Lifeline reviews, most customers are happy with the speed of the response.

Monthly Tests

With medical alert systems, more than usually, one does not have a need for them until months or even years after installation. It is important to test the system periodically to make sure that it is working well when use of it is required. The Philips Lifeline system facilitates this by incorporating monthly reminders to remind users to test their system.

They also appear to have procedures in place to ensure that the system continues to work. One user had to take the system offline as they were shifting furniture at the home. The service called to check that everything was OK. Others have reported that they received phone calls when they have not tested the systems past 30 days.

What Happens When Power Goes Out

Should power go out in the home, the Lifeline medical alert system will continue to operate through a backup battery. According to their website, it has a backup battery that will provide 15 hours of battery backup.

Philips Lifeline Cost

The Philips Lifeline website does not offer any price quotes on their services. Philips Lifeline pricing is estimated to be $70 to $100 for installation and activation. Monthly fees is approximately $35 a month, depending on where you are located. The Lifeline AutoAlert service ($48 - $55 monthly) provides additional protection as the alert button device is able to detect falls and issue an automatically without the user needing to do anything. One thing that many customers appreciate about the service is that there are no long term contracts required. There may be a minimum commitment of 3 months, and then one can cancel anytime with 30 days notice.

Philips Lifeline Complaints

The FDA has issued an alert regarding the chord of the Philips Lifeline pendant. By design, it is not made to be easily breakable when tugged. On the plus side, it means that the user can feel secure about always having the pendant. On the minus side, there is the risk of choking the user when the chord gets tangled. Currently, the company has posted warnings about the chord as a potential choking hazard on its website. (Philips Lifeline Reviews, FDA)

Overall

The Philips Lifeline medical alert system is outstanding for its reliability and features. It's also a market leader and innovator of the industry. It is one of the few companies to support an auto alert service option, as well as options for additional communicator units for better communications. Their service is a little pricey compared with others, but they allow users to go month-to-month without tying them down to long term contracts.

If you are already a customer, you can also add your own review here: Philips Lifeline reviews - add your own.

Having been in business for over 30 years, its a good sign that most Philips Lifeline reviews by users are positive. This appears to be one of the better home emergency reponse systems in the market today, although its price tends to be on the high side. If you are just starting your search, don't settle for the first company that you read about, be sure to check out various reviews and information about different companies before deciding.

Alternative medical alert systems worth looking into include Bay Alarm Medical and Lifestation.