Getting older in this day and age has its challenges. Coming-of-age means that we become more limited in movement, memory and other cognitive skills. These are the three main things that the elderly have to deal with, which can now be monitored to a point where a safety-net can be put into place. The technological advancements that have expanded over our entire human history is astounding, to a point where we can now protect our elderly when it comes to managing and mitigating the risks associated with getting older. The Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Systems is supposedly able to monitor and protect when the movement aspect of getting older fails. Once it does, this system guarantees to react quickly and efficiently to help get that person back and mobile once again–no matter where they are, or what circumstance they may be in.
I will be reviewing the company’s second most affordable medical security plan (out of the four that they offer) comparing the positive and negative aspects. This package includes the AutoAlert feature, a pendant with an emergency help button and an “in-home communicator with two-way voice communication.”
- The AutoAlert Feature – I like the AutoAlert feature that was added to their standard HomeSafe medical security system. It ensures that clients who went unconscious during a fall, or clients with dementia, would receive help if they couldn’t push the button on their pendant. The feature works by automatically detecting falls and then alerting for help from a Personal Response Associate or other experts that might be required. The AutoAlert also has a built-in false alarm system if the fall-detection was set off but was not needed. The system gives about thirty seconds to cancel an alarm, or by just standing up the alarm will stop.
- Communication – This package comes with a communication device that acts like a speaker-phone and allows clients to speak with an employee at one of the company’s Response Centers, if the client needs someone to speak to while waiting for help.
- Waterproof – All products are waterproof and can be worn in the bath or shower where almost thirty-six percent of medical accidents occur.
- Landline or Cellular – A landline or cellular connection type can be chosen when you order (I always enjoy having more than one option).
- Only the Pendant – I don’t like how this package does not include a wristband like the standard HomeSafe package does. The pendant is the only option that clients get when purchasing this medical security system.
- Range/Distance Limitations – The range of the HomeSafe AutoAlert Medical system is not specified. The location of the communicator and how the house is actually laid out depends on how far the device’s range is (Not for leaving the household and traveling).
- Installation Fee – Optional installation help does require a fee, so a Philips Lifeline technician may come help you.
- Failure Rate – The overall system has a known failure rate. Either when the AutoAlert wasn’t activated, or when the button itself was pushed and no one was notified of the situation. The rate is small, but still present.
My first impression of the HomeSafe AutoAlert Medical Security System was that it’s a brilliant idea and it seemed more realistic than the standard version they had. AutoAlert would still be able to notify the people who could help the client even if that person was unable to push the button on the pendant in the first place. It was an added benefit for the already provided support. However, once I looked a little further into how the system itself performed for everyone, it seems that the AutoAlert system didn’t alert properly for quite a few clients of the company, according to some of the direct reviews. In my opinion, it’s not very comforting to know that the system has failed a couple times and left some people in-need of help without it. Hopefully, Philips Lifeline looks into this situation occurring with people and fixes it to ensure more safety when customers use their products.
|Philips Lifeline System||Cost Per Month||Activation||Shipping for Self-Install|
|HomeSafe Standard Landline||$29.95||$50.00||$19.99|
|HomeSafe Standard Cellular||$41.95||$50.00||$19.99|
|HomeSafe AutoAlert Landline||$44.95||$50.00||$19.99|
|HomeSafe AutoAlert Cellular||$56.95||$50.00||$19.99|
While this version of their medical security system has its flaws and imperfections, it may not be the proper choice for some people. Other options besides the HomeSafe AutoAlert system include the HomeSafe Standard, the GoSafe and the GoSafe 2.
HomeSafe Standard – This version is the same as the HomeSafe AutoAlert system, but without the AutoAlert, and it gives the client the option to choose whether they want their emergency button device to be a pendant around their neck, or a wristband worn on their wrist like a watch. This system is also cheaper than the AutoAlert version, but still includes the same installation fee.
GoSafe – (No longer offered) This was the same as the other two previous systems, but it included location capabilities through GPS and had coverage for clients wherever they traveled to. Although, unlike the HomeSafe Standard system, this package only offered a pendant. This system also unfortunately is the most expensive option of the four.
GoSafe 2 – This system has the same features as the original GoSafe system, but it has one extra adjustment to how it can be set up. While the other systems required a base station, this version does not. It has GPS tracking, coverage anywhere and an AutoAlert system. It’s also much more affordable than the previous, GoSafe system.
This new technology for the protection of our elderly refers back to what I was mentioning in the beginning of this review. The Philips Lifeline has shown me that we have traveled far in medical-security technology, but also has shown me that we still have a ways to go. This system does have many negative reviews referring to its customer service and a known failure rate, but it still provides many positive things. The negative aspects of this company can always be adjusted, which leads me to finally believe in saying to possibly give this company a chance if you’re okay with knowing the negatives, but are happy with the positives provided. And as long as people feel safe with leaving their loved ones in the hands of Philips Lifeline, then that is all that matters in the end. Personally, I wouldn’t risk it, no matter what the odds may be.