Philips Lifeline, GoSafe 2: Review

Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2

The Basics

Product name: GoSafe 2 

Manufacturer / Distributor: Philips Lifeline

Compilation: Q2 2019

This page contains our Philips Lifeline | GoSafe 2 review.

 

 

Analyst Summary: Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2

The GoSafe 2 is one of our top picks in the mobile alert category. 

 

GoSafe 2 vs GoSafe

In the past we reviewed the "GoSafe" which combines a mobile alert pendant with a home communicator (see GoSafe review). The newer GoSafe 2 appears to use the identical mobile pendant as the GoSafe, but without the home communicator. So most of the review above of the GoSafe still applies to the GoSafe 2.

The new GoSafe 2 is designed to go head to head with the other entrants in the mobile alert category.

To keep things in perspective, the home communicator provides a degree of extra "perfection" in the ability to call for help at all times. However the primary competitors to the Go Safe work very much like the Go Safe 2, and lack the extra features of the home communicator (see GoSafe review for more discussion of the role of the home communicator). Having a home communicator is mostly important if you have poor cell coverage in your house. If you have good cell coverage everywhere in your house, the home communicator is much less important.

The big advantage of the GoSafe 2 over the GoSafe is price. 

The GoSafe was one of our top recommendations when we acquired it and did an extensive comparative evaluation of this and several other "go anywhere" medical alerts. See the comparative evaluation at the link below. In our updated recommendations the GoSafe 2 is also a top pick.

 

Key Differentiating Features

Pluses

  • As discussed in more detail in the GoSafe review, the GoSafe and GoSafe 2 mobile alert pendants are extremely well engineered and have the feel of a precision piece of engineering.
  • They also have several unusual features not found in competing products, such as a siren that can be triggered to help find you if you are not immediately seen by the first responders (see GoSafe Review).
  • The audio from the GoSafe 2 is very loud. This helps a lot if you have imperfect hearing, for when the responders talk to you from the pendant. We felt this pendant had the loudest and clearest sound of any alert we have tried thus far.

 

Excellent Battery Life

In our testing of the GoSafe 2 in Q2 2019, we found truly excellent battery life, significantly better than other mobile alerts. In our testing of the GoSafe 2 we routinely get 2 weeks between charges of the battery in the pendant. And when we forgot to wear it for a few days during one testing period, it took 3 weeks before the battery needed recharging.

This is in contrast to the other products in the mobile medical alert category which get at best a few days of battery life, and in most cases really need charging every day.

 

Minuses

There are only two potential negatives of this product, apart from price (it is among the more expensive of the mobile alert products).

  • It looks a bit "clinical" for the taste of some people. But honestly, we are finding this less bothersome than when we first evaluated this category of product. And in a recent (Q2 2019) "look and discuss session" with our Longevity Explorers, many of them said they rather liked the look and feel of the product. Now that "white accessories" have been popularized by Apple, perhaps the clinical look has turned into a plus.
     
  • The response time is still disappointingly long compared to competing products. In our Q2 2019 testing, we found the time between pressing the alert button and getting a responder on the line averaged 77 secs, compared to an average of 20 secs for the Lively Mobile, which we evaluated at the same time. Whether or not this matters really depends on the situation you are trying to protect against. See more discussion of the importance (or not) of response time in our best of breed mobile medical alert article and the Learning Module (especially the online courses that discuss this topic in more detail).

 

Pricing

The GoSafe 2 we purchased (in H1 2019) had a monthly fee of $44.95, a one time purchase fee for the pendant of $99.95, and an installation fee of $19.95. We got a "promotion" discount so the entire initial payment to acquire it and pay for month 1 was $138.90.

The second bill was for the $44.95 for month 2, plus some "extra fees" adding to a total of $52.27.

So, the one year cost would be $714, and the two year cost would be $1,341.

Because pricing varies, we try not to focus too much on price in these reviews, and encourage you to do your own price comparisons. At the time of last updating of this review (July 2019), these total costs were higher than a number of the other mobile medical aleerts we reviewed. If you are seeking "the cheapest", this product is not the right choice. If you are seeking "the best", this product should be on the short list.

 

 

 

 

 

* Note: If you use these links when you buy any of the products we write about, we sometimes get a small percentage of the sale from the manufacturer, which we use to support our research. (This does not affect the price you pay). See How we Fund our Work.

 

 

Product Line & Company: Philips Lifeline

Philips is a very large and highly regarded company with products ranging from consumer products to medical devices. Lifeline was acquired by Philips in 2006, and Lifeline was one of the pioneers of the medical alert business in the USA.

You can see more about the history of Lifeline on the Philips Lifeline website here. The website says that Philips Lifeline "has served over 7.5 million people" and claim "650,000 subscribers". They emphasize the quality of their call center and level of training of their responders.

As best we can tell this company is the market leader in medical alert systems, both from a... .........Read more

 

About this Research

This product review is part of an extensive series of medical alert system reviews of over 50 products, including hands-on evaluation and real-world testing of the most promising ones, in real-world situations.

These reviews and analyses are part of our Research Project designed to help older adults and their families Choose the Right Medical Alert System for THEM — the result of which is our Medical Alert Systems: Selection Guide.

We have tried hard to make this research as independent and objective as possible. It has not been funded or sponsored by any of the vendors of these products, and includes no advertising or "sponsored content". The team that conducted this research has strong scientific, clinical, and aging services backgrounds. You can read more about the team that did this research at the links above. 

 

Help Support our Research

We hope you found this work useful. If you like what we do, and would like to see it continue, please consider contributing time, ideas, or some funding to help support our work.

We are currently raising contributions from those who find our work valuable to complete some new research initiatives, all targeted at helping older adults live better for longer. And we are always looking for contributions of ideas about what to work on, or help executing some of our projects.

Learn More: Help Support our Research.

 

Comments

 

from Nigel (unverified) at Aug 23 2019 - 9:25am

I just talked to Philips and they said that the product's battery only lasts for 2 years!  They don't offer a service to replace the battery.  You have to purchase a new unit!!  This could get kind of expensive over the long run IMHO.

How about including in your reviews the battery life and if it can be replaced?

 

from webmaster (member) at Aug 23 2019 - 2:50pm

Thanks for adding that bit of information. It may help others, assuming it is correct.

To put it in context, all the mobile alerts have rechargeable batteries, and the time between charges is what is most relevant, and we think that is an important differentiator.

The time at which the battery needs replacing is an interesting piece of data. We think it would be important to compare how this differs from product vendor to product vendor befor deciding what is good and what is bad, and we have not done that.

The framing of your comment makes it sound like the overall lifetime of the battery in the Philips product is somehow a bad thing. The right question to ask is how this compares with the competitors. I note you dont mention that at all. I think you should do that before drawing any conclusions.

 

from Kathryn Smith-Ripper (unverified) at Jul 8 2019 - 1:04pm

First, thanks for doing such a great job in trying to analyze and distill information that's useful for caregivers like myself.  

When I look at the GoSafe2 website, I'm assured that the product will work in and out of my parents' home "where the AT&T Wireless Network is available at the time of the alarm".

I'm going to call the company and ask this question, but wondered if I could get a more objective answer from you/all:  what does this really mean for people who are not AT&T customers?  My parents already had an unsuccessful experience with a company where I was told that AT& T service was 'dropping' and not penetrating their house somehow.  Their pendants wouldn't hold a charge and took forever and a day to charge in the first place.  The only times one of them was in contact with an operator was over false positives; no one had fallen.  Thank you!

 

from Richard-Caro (member) at Jul 8 2019 - 2:06pm

Hi Kathryn:

There are a few things to mention here:

1. Whether or not your parents are ATT customers is not relevant. The Philips system works with ATT but it does so using its own account and does not require your parents to do anything other than interact with Philips. There is no need for your parents to have an ATT account of their own. It does NOT use their cell phone account in any way.

2. The key issue with these products is that for them to work there needs to be a "signal" from the cell carrier that the product uses (in this case ATT). Just like you don't get cell phone reception everywhere, these pendants don't get reception everywhere. So if ATT's network does not have a strong signal inside your parents house, then the GoSafe 2 pendant will not work well in their house.

3. There is a solution to this however. The GoSafe (not the GoSafe 2) comes with the same pendant but also with a home "base station" (I think they call it a home communicator). This base station is designed to connect to the pendant when it is in the house. The base station can be set up to connect via the cell network or (I think) via a landline. This avoids the need for the pendant to connect via ATT in your house. But then when you go out and about it still works over the cell network.

So, ... if there is poor cell reception in your parents house, using the GoSafe instead of the GoSafe 2 might be the right answer.

Watch out you don't get steered toward the Philips "HomeSafe". This is a quite different product that works in the home but NOT when you leave the home.

Hope that helps.

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