There are both positives and negatives for an established company with a vast electronic background, to enter into a new field, specifically when that field involves a lot more than just electronics. It strikes to the heart of the medical alert system and what its essential role is.
The fact is that the console and pendant are the catalyst to an emergency response plan, thus, as essential as the electronic and technical side of things are – an indispensable and primary part of a whole – the other side of things is just as important, the human side. With Philips Lifeline you’re guaranteed of getting a top of the line medical alarm system, as in the product itself (which many will argue is the most important thing), but what of their customer service, medical response service and monitoring facility. If you’ve done some research you’ll find that every aspect is important to a top quality service and that so often, the oversight of one small detail can make a huge difference.
It’s no surprise then that Philips Lifeline places a great deal of focus on their product and its capabilities, and for those customers primarily looking for a high quality electronic alert device, the Philips is perfect, although there are concessions to be made. You’ll be guaranteed to be receiving the latest technology with a number of features that other top competitors do not have, but as with anything with advanced capabilities, you’ll be paying for the extra technology as well. This may seem to be a bit excessive, but as many reviews have claimed, the extra technology often proves to be worth the higher price.
There is a flip side to every coin; with Philips Lifeline, the user/customer will need to pay several fees for installation including an activation and, if needed, a cancellation fee. One would also need to pay for equipment delivery. The reason for all this is due to the fact that Philips Lifeline deploys a professional to your home to install the device. Home inspections are also common with this service to gauge the best set up for your home to attain the best results from the product. The technician who is sent to your home is there to ensure that the device is installed correctly; from this you can already ascertain the difference between Philips and other brands which usually involve a simple five minute set-up procedure with an accompanying instructional video.
As expected, Philips Lifeline offers one of the best models of alert systems on the market. The device itself is one of the most technologically advanced and capable available. This of course is a major advantage for those customers looking for a particular type of care. In addition to the customary medical alert system features like a waterproof pendant, two way communications, a wristband button, a pendant with a phone answering capability and more, the Philips is also one of the strongest in terms of monitoring range which is at an impressive eight hundred feet, well above the industry average of five hundred and ten feet. The only feature unavailable in the Philips console is a multilingual service.
Following the monitoring features, as per usual, is a look at the additional services, although in this category, Philips strangely offers a bit of a mixed bag. They provide a typically exemplary device with advanced monitoring capabilities but it’s not without its faults. Absent from the additional features of the Philips Lifeline system is voice extenders and a lock box, universally accepted as pretty handy features, particularly the former. The Philips also does without the hallway or auxiliary help button, relying mainly on the necklace or wristband buttons.
So, what exactly does make this alarm system so special to warrant a place among the top ten brands on the market? Well, of all the top ten ranked brands on the market, Philips is the only brand to offer ‘fall detection’. This automatically places it at the forefront, technologically speaking. This technology allows the response/monitoring attendants to be notified whenever the user falls – without even having to press the panic button. What makes this feature even more special is the fact that it can even detect the nature of the fall and thus ascertain the grade of the impact and relay that to the monitoring attendant. Since a fallen senior may well be incapacitated, the device automatically sends notification to the monitoring facility to request assistance via family or emergency response units. Another fine feature of this device is the medication dispenser, which is programmable to notify the user of the time to take their medication, as well as allot the prescribed amount for them to take – a tricky prospect for some elders who may have forgotten their dosage requirements.
With added extras like a check-in service and the ubiquitous additional user button, the Philips ensures that it’s in the industry to make more than a difference in people’s lives; they’re also looking to employ cutting edge technology to do so. The advent of the automated response call after a fall may just negate any need for a voice extender after all.
Some might take a quick look at the customer service features of Philips Lifeline and quickly draw the conclusion that this is definitely not an area of theirs which you’d call a strong suit. This sentiment isn’t wrong, although it’s not to say that their service is sub-standard due to the fact that they do not offer 24 hour technical support or even have a FAQs service. The only two customer services which they provide is an email account and a toll free number. Of course being Philips means that they are a well-respected brand name both electronically and technologically, and since their product has a lifetime warranty, one would expect this to negate the need for a twenty four hour technical support service. One would think though, that for a company which has been around for so long, longer than the thirty odd years they’ve been in the medical alarm industry, that they apply the same attitude and professionalism, with regard to customers, across all disciplines in which they work.
What are the Pros and Cons of Philips Lifeline
- Philips Lifeline sends a qualified technician to your home to install the alarm system
- A strong, well above industry average, console transmitter range of around 800 feet
- A lifetime warranty
- Possibly the most advanced medical alarm console on the market with a comprehensive features list
- The solid technological backing of Philips electronics with their rich history in the electronic industry, thus making for a trustworthy brand and device
- A very ‘smart’ medication dispenser that not only reminds users when to take their medication, but also delivers the dosage as well
- The only brand or make of medical alert systems in the top ten in the industry which comes with Fall detection – automatically making it one of the most advanced on the market
- The Philips Lifeline device possesses an advanced fall detection technology that not only detects a fall, but also the nature and seriousness of the impact
- With their technological background, the Philips product is a bit pricier than many others on the market
- Additional features do not include a lock box, voice extenders or an additional hallway mounted panic button
- Philips Lifeline medical alarm system does have an activation fee (as they employ a technician to install the device) and there is no free equipment delivery either
- Very little discount offers available
- The Philips Lifeline premiums are steeper than most others in the industry
- Philips Lifeline is run by a corporation thus customer service may not be as focussed as some smaller, more clientele orientated companies. Indicative of this is their limited toll free telephonic support hours
- only fifteen hours of back-up battery life
Although there are a few negatives attached to this brand, mostly surrounding price and customer service standards, as appose to their competitors and industry leaders, their higher premiums are in many cases worth it due to the added technology. Many families may seek for the benefits of the ‘fall detection’ technology – a rare feature in medical alarm systems – specifically for their loved one, and this alone places Philips Lifeline head and shoulders above the rest.
Due to the fact that this is a corporation based company, their services may often come with a business ‘air’ in that they mostly target sales rather than nurturing each customer. Philips Lifeline provides a top quality product and very competent service, but at a price ($41 a month); so if all you need is an advanced console with impressive capabilities (and can look past the vigorous marketing endeavors of the Philips Lifeline sales department), then this is the alert system for you.