GreatCall, Lively Mobile Plus: Review

Lively Mobile Plus Medical Alert pendant

The Basics

Product name: Lively Mobile Plus 

Manufacturer / Distributor: GreatCall

Compilation: Q2 2019. Updated Q1 2021.

 

This page contains our GreatCall | Lively Mobile Plus review.

 

 

Analyst Summary: GreatCall | Lively Mobile Plus

The Lively Mobile Plus Medical Alert is one of our top picks in the mobile alert category. It includes fall detection and GPS location capability, and has a number of pluses in addition (see below).

To see a detailed review, scroll down.

 

To see how this product stacks up against the competitors, see:

 

 

Third Generation GreatCall Medical Alert

The Lively Mobile Plus, launched in April 2019, replaced the Lively Mobile, which in turn had replaced the GreatCall Splash which featured heavily in many of our prior detailed comparative analyses.

This product had a product recall which led to it being unavailable through most of 2019, but it was relaunched in 2020, after some reengineering to fix prior problems.

Below you can see the three consecutive genarations of the Great Call Medical Alert products. Gen 1 was the Splash. Gen 2 was the Lively Mobile, and now Gen 3 is the Lively Mobile Plus.

 

GreatCall Medical Alerts: three generations

 

We have acquired and tested all three of these products over the years. This review focuses on the Lively Mobile Plus, which is a worthy successor to the Splash, which also did very well in our prior tests. 

The Lively Mobile Plus — the latest version of GreatCall's mobile medical alert — is quite similar to the original Splash we reviewed back in 2015.

Whereas the Lively Mobile (now discontinued) was an attempt to significantly reduce the size and weight compared to the Splash, with the Lively Mobile Plus the product has grown a bit, presumably to accomodate a larger battery. This is good news, as the extra weight is not very noticeable, while battery life was a definite problem with the Lively Mobile for some customers.

On our kitchen scale, the Splash weighed 2.0 oz, the Lively Mobile weighed 1.5 oz, and the latest Lively Mobile Plus is back up to 2.0 oz.

 

 

Key Differentiating Features

The Pluses

  • It's fairly small, and fairly lightweight.
     
  • This product comes with the GreatCall 5 star responder service which has an excellent response time. In addition, this monitoring service encourages you to reach out to them in a range of "emergencies", not just life threatening ones. See below for more on response time.
     
  • Purchasing and on-boarding can all be done online, and is fairly easy. Although we have noticed customer service is less "excellent" than when we first dealt with the company back in 2015.
     
  • The cost of this product compares favorably with many of the competitors.
     
  • It's waterproof (IPX7: 1 m depth for 30 minutes), as are most competitors.
     
  • In terms of battery life, in our tests we found this product to hold a charge for over 3 days, using it every day.
     
  • GPS locating capability is (as best we can tell in our evaluations)  as good as any of its competitors (ie good but not "perfect").

 

Response Time is Excellent

This aspect of the product is especially important.

GreatCall has made a concerted effort to have an industry leading response time, and our evaluations have shown that to be the case across all three generations of their mobile alerts. [See more details about how GreatCall approaches monitoring here.]

For example, here is what we found when we did a comparison of response times across multiple medical alert vendors for an earlier comparative evaluation of mobile medical alerts.

"An area where the GreatCall monitoring service really excels is speed of response.

In our tests, the average time from pressing the button to hearing a responder was 16 seconds, and only thrice was it over 30 seconds in 19 trials spread out over a month (faster than 30 seconds in 84% of events). The maximum was 53 seconds. The second longest time was only 40 seconds."

This was notably faster than competitors (see Mobile Alert Systems: Comparison Testing for more details).

 

The Minuses

From our tests, we didn't think there were really any minuses about this product — other than those that come with the mobile alert category as a whole.

  • So it's not very attractive, although less ugly than most.
     
  • And you do need to charge it (see below).
     
  • And the "wearable" is larger than the "traditional" type of medical alert that works only in your home.

 

Some other categories of medical alerts (eg those for home use only) do have much longer battery life, if this is a critical parameter for you. You can see more about tradeoffs with respect to battery life in our course on Selecting the Right Medical Alert System (see the Learning Module). 

If you are interested in this type of medical alert, you should also read our rather extensive comparative analysis of mobile alert systems in which we test all sorts of aspects of different products in this category. We try and keep our "recommendations" up to date in our section "Just Tell Me What to Buy".

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Product Line & Company: GreatCall

GreatCall is a well regarded leader in design of senior-friendly products, and makes the popular Jitterbug and Lively phones, as well as the Lively Mobile Plus mobile medical alert pendant and Lively Wearable.

The "5 star response services" that work on each of the emergency devices above can optionally include some very interesting services that go far beyond the traditional emergency responder service. These extra services include 24/7 access to a doctor or nurse, and use of a caregiver connection application called GreatCall Link. .........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 YOU — 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. 

 

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Comments

 

from Shirley Barr (unverified) at October 21, 2020

Is Lively Mobil Plus available without the Urgent Care feature?
Is it available from Amazon Prime?

Discuss, Comment, Ask Questions


 

Last Updated: February 18, 2021.