Lively Medical Alert Review 2024: We Tried & Tested High-Tech and User-Friendly Features

Dec 18, 2023
Fact Checked
Lively offers an on-the-go system and 24/7 monitoring for Apple Watch and Alexa smart devices.
  • Free caregiver app
  • Telehealth services available
  • Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa device discounts
  • 24/7 monitoring and health features available for Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa devices

Key Takeaways

Lively, formerly GreatCall, is known for its Jitterbug phones and health and wellness services designed for older adults. Our review focuses on Lively medical alert devices, which are unique compared to other brands. While most medical alert system companies have at-home, on-the-go, and (sometimes) smartwatch models, Lively has a simple, one-piece mobile system, and also offers its 24/7 monitoring services for use on Apple Watches and Amazon Alexa devices.

A Lively medical alert system is best for users looking for an affordable and user-friendly on-the-go alert system with optional fall detection and telehealth features.

Our Reviews Team hand-tested Lively Mobile Plus and Lively on Apple Watch as part of our medical alert systems testing summit. Keep reading for the results of our team’s hands-on testing as well as more information to help you decide whether Lively medical alerts are right for you.

Why you can trust our expert review

Hours of Research
Surveys Deployed
Brands Tested
Experts Consulted

Our Reviews Team spent more than 2,500 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. During our process, we:

Read more about our medical alert systems review methodology.

Why Lively is one of our Reviews Team’s top picks

Lively offers a basic mobile system with optional fall detection and unique telehealth features, such as health check-ins, virtual urgent care, and a caregiver app. That’s why our Reviews Team chose Lively in our best medical alert systems review. The premium package ($34.99 per month) includes 24/7 access to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor, with no insurance or copay requirements.

When testing the Mobile Plus, our Reviews Team noted the device’s simple setup and how lightweight it was when worn as a necklace. The help button was easy to press, with an average response time of 15–25 seconds from the monitoring center, which is below the 30-second industry average, according to our Reviews Team’s testing.

Lively also offers its monitoring services, known as Urgent Response, for use with smart technology the user may already own, such as an Apple Watch or Alexa smart speaker. For this service, Lively charges only the monthly monitoring fee, as opposed to paying one-time equipment and activation fees in addition to a monthly monitoring fee, as you would with most standard at-home medical alert systems.

Pros and cons of Lively

Telehealth features available
Free caregiver app included with all packages
Available for Apple Watch and Amazon Alexa devices
Waterproof on-the-go system
Fall detection add-on for Mobile Plus
No quarterly or annual plan discounts
No standard at-home landline option
Lively services for Apple Watch or Alexa only available to purchase over the phone or through Best Buy website

Table 1 Comparison of Lively medical alert systems, as of December 2023

Lively SystemMobile PlusLively on Apple WatchLively on Alexa Devices
Starting monthly cost$24.99$24.99$24.99
Equipment fee$49.99$0$0
Activation fee$35$0$0
Device typeOn-the-GoSmartwatchIn-home (smart speaker)
Device rangeAnywhere with cellular serviceAnywhere with cellular service or Wi-FiAnywhere with cellular service or Wi-Fi
Connection typeCellularCellular, Wi-FiCellular, Wi-Fi
Battery life (hours)8018 (varies based on activity)Depends on the device
Location trackingYesYesNo
Fall detectionYes, $9.99 per monthYes, included with Apple WatchNo
Water resistanceWaterproofWater resistantNo
Two-way voice communicationYesYesYes

Lively devices review

Mobile Plus

Lively Mobile Plus mobile medical alert system on blue background
Quick setup process
Fall detection available
$35 activation fee
No quarterly or annual plan discounts

The Lively Mobile Plus is the brand’s standard on-the-go medical alert system. Like most mobile systems, the Mobile Plus connects to a 24/7 monitoring center with the push of a button and has a two-way speaker. Whether you’re testing the device or need emergency services, you’ll be able to speak directly with the monitoring center staff. The Mobile Plus uses global positioning system technology (GPS) to track your location, so the monitoring center can dispatch emergency services directly to you, even when you’re outside your home.

What stands out most about the Mobile Plus is its built-in fall detection and optional remote health features. While most mobile systems include optional fall detection, many medical alert brands only offer this feature with an additional device: a designated fall detection necklace. This leaves you with two devices—a mobile system and a paired fall detection necklace—which can be clunky if you place the mobile system in your pocket while wearing the fall detection necklace.

If you choose Lively fall detection for $9.99 per month, you don’t have to wear an extra necklace, since the feature is already built into the Lively Mobile Plus.

Lively also offers impressive telehealth features, such as 24/7 access to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor, and access to a professional care advocate to help you achieve health, finance, and other personal goals. These services are included with the premium package ($34.99 per month).

Learn more about these health and wellness services in our Lively services and health features section.

Lively Mobile Plus medical alert system size compared to box of raisins on a blue background
A Lively Mobile Plus medical alert system is about the same size as a box of raisins.

When testing the Mobile Plus, our Reviews Team noted how compact and lightweight it is. The system is smaller than a box of raisins and lighter than a deck of cards—a Reviews Team member even forgot they were wearing it around their neck during hands-on testing.

Users and caregivers will enjoy the three-step setup process:

  1. Place the system in the charging cradle
  2. Plug the charger into an outlet
  3. Receive a voice alert that the device is being set up

Once our Reviews Team testers set up the device, a recorded voice said “Welcome to Lively” and confirmed fall detection was enabled. The mobile system also flashed a green light, and we received an automated call telling us our Mobile Plus was functioning correctly. Our Reviews Team liked that Lively provides clear visual and verbal cues to let users know the system is ready to use.

The help button contacts the 24/7 monitoring center when you press it, or if you keep holding it down you’ll connect directly to 911. Since most medical alert systems only contact the company’s monitoring centers, where the monitoring professionals may then call 911 as needed, our Reviews Team thought this was a uniquely helpful feature. This isn’t advertised explicitly on the Lively website, but is mentioned in the device user guide. If the help button is pressed accidentally, you can cancel a call to the monitoring center, or 911, by pressing the button again.

After several unsuccessful fall detection tests conducted by our Reviews Team, we called customer service to ask whether the feature was activated on our Mobile Plus. The customer service representative told us the system won’t call the monitoring center if the wearer gets up within 15 seconds of falling (our Reviews Team had picked up the device almost immediately after each test). We then left the Mobile Plus on the floor for at least 20 seconds every time we tested fall detection and it successfully contacted the monitoring center within 20–30 seconds of each test fall.

The Mobile Plus is a great on-the-go medical alert system for those who want a 24/7 connection to emergency services, whether inside or outside the home, without the bells and whistles of a smartwatch. Our Reviews Team liked the small size, simple setup process, built-in fall detection, and access to Lively health and wellness add-on services.

Lively on Apple Watch

Apple Watch home screen with Lively app icon
The Lively app, accessible from the star icon seen on the bottom right side of the watch face, can be added to your Apple Watch.
No equipment or activation fees
Adds medical alert functions to your existing Apple Watch
Telehealth features available
Fall detection test was inconclusive
Setup instructions not included with purchase
May be easier to accidentally call monitoring center with touchscreen

Whether you already have an Apple Watch or are considering purchasing one, you can add Lively 24/7 monitoring services to your smartwatch. Like the Mobile Plus, the monthly price starts at $24.99 (basic package), and additional health and wellness features are available for $34.99 (premium package).

Our Reviews Team used an Apple Watch Series 6 when testing Lively, and we confirmed with a customer service representative that Lively is compatible with all models. We called Lively to purchase the monthly monitoring package for our Apple Watch since you can’t buy the service on the Lively website. You can also purchase Lively packages on the Best Buy website, but you’ll need to create a Best Buy account first.

Unfortunately, our Reviews Team didn’t receive a user manual or setup instructions when we purchased Lively service for the Apple Watch. But Lively has step-by-step instructions available online for installing the Lively app on your iPhone and connecting it to your Apple Watch.

First, our Reviews Team downloaded the Lively app onto our iPhone. The app connected to our Apple Watch once we downloaded it since our iPhone and Apple Watch were already paired. We followed the prompts in the app to set up the Lively service.

We like that Lively includes instructions if your iPhone and Apple Watch have not been connected, but the setup experience could be smoother if customers received instructions as soon as they purchased Lively monitoring services for their Apple Watch. Keep in mind that the Apple Watch is not a standalone device—you need to either pair it with an iPhone and keep the watch within range of the phone, or stay connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

Set-up instructions for Lively on Apple Watch
Set-up instructions for Lively on Apple Watch

The Lively app prompted us to place a test call through our Apple Watch. Our Reviews Team pressed the app icon on the watch face to contact the monitoring center and let them know we were testing the app. Once our call went through, we spoke with the monitoring center staff directly through the watch, just like the Mobile Plus.

Lively setup for Apple Watch

You can add the star-shaped Lively Urgent Response app icon to your Apple Watch face touchscreen to quickly access the 24/7 monitoring services. For people with dexterity issues, our Reviews Team suggests choosing the X-Large display option so it’s easier to press the Lively icon and contact the monitoring center.

Instructions for setting Lively app on the Apple Watch face
Choose X-Large for even quicker access to Lively on your Apple Watch face

Our Reviews Team tried the X-Large Lively app icon display. While it was easier to press than the standard-size icon, we accidentally called the monitoring center at least six times while wearing our Apple Watch. Fortunately, we were able to cancel the calls before they went through. For those with dexterity issues, the small size of the icons may make it difficult to operate.

Keep in mind that you can cancel a call by pressing the icon again. If you’re unable to cancel the call before reaching the monitoring staff, let them know it was an accident—you won’t be penalized for false alarms.

Apple Watch displaying time and enlarged Lively app icon
The Lively app icon displayed on the Apple Watch of a Reviews Team tester

Many medical alert watches don’t offer fall detection, since fall detection devices worn on the wrist are not as accurate as those worn around the neck, according to recent studies from 2021 [1] Javier González-Cañete, Francisco and Casilari, Eduardo. A Feasibility Study of the Use of Smartwatches in Wearable Fall Detection Systems. Sensors. March 23, 2021. Found on the internet at and 2023. [2] Lee, Yongkuk, et al. Experimental Study: Deep Learning-Based Fall Monitoring among Older Adults with Skin-Wearable Electronics. Sensors. March 2023. Found on the internet at While Apple Watch does include built-in fall detection, it never triggered fall detection during multiple tests by our Reviews Team. The watch’s fall detection is offered by Apple and is not a Lively feature.

Lively on Alexa devices

Amazon Alexa smart speaker calling the Lively monitoring center
No equipment or activation fees
Use your voice to call the 24/7 monitoring center
Adds medical alert functions to your existing Alexa device
Only works inside your home
Fall detection not available
Telehealth services not available

Lively monitoring services are available for any Amazon Alexa device, allowing you to contact the 24/7 monitoring center by saying, “Alexa, call for help” within range of your smart speaker. You’ll connect to the monitoring center and speak directly with a staff member from your Alexa device. This may be a good option if you or your loved one is hesitant to wear a medical alert device or smartwatch.

Like the Apple Watch, you can’t purchase Urgent Response for Alexa devices on the Lively website—you’ll have to buy it over the phone or on the Best Buy website.

The Lively premium package and fall detection are not available for Alexa devices

How much does a Lively medical alert system cost?

Lively medical alerts systems start at $24.99 per month for monitoring services—the price for Mobile Plus, Apple Watch, and Alexa devices. Your monthly price will depend on whether you choose the basic package ($24.99) or the premium package for $10 more ($34.99). Note that the premium package is not available for Alexa devices.

The Mobile Plus has a one-time equipment fee of $49.99, as well as a $35 activation fee. Our Reviews Team did not see the activation fee when checking out online until we entered our credit card information.

You can get a discount on an Apple Watch or Alexa device if you purchase them through Best Buy and include Lively monitoring services with your purchase (Best Buy owns Lively). A two-year commitment is required if you purchase the Lively premium package and Apple Watch together, but we did not see this requirement for the basic package.

If you already own an Apple Watch or Alexa smart speaker, you’ll only pay the monthly monitoring fee, since no activation or equipment fees apply.

Table 2 comparing Lively medical alert systems and prices, as of December 2023

Lively SystemMobile PlusLively on Apple WatchLively on Alexa Devices
Starting monthly cost$24.99$24.99$24.99
Equipment fee$49.99$0$0
Activation fee$35$0$0

Shipping is free for Mobile Plus if you choose standard ground shipping (three to seven business days). Expedited shipping (one to three business days) is $20. If you return your Mobile Plus equipment within 30 days of receiving it, Lively will refund the following:

Lively charges a $10 restocking fee when you cancel your account, but you don’t have to pay to ship back your equipment. You’ll receive a prepaid shipping label to return your equipment.

You can cancel Lively on Apple Watch or Alexa devices at any time, since it is a digital month-to-month service.

Is Lively covered by insurance?

Unfortunately, medical alert systems are typically not covered by insurance. Medical alert systems are not covered by Traditional Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B), but some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) may offer coverage or discounts for Lively medical alert systems, particularly if the service includes access to your private health information. Coverage varies by state, so check with your insurance provider to confirm whether medical alert system coverage is available with your Medicare Advantage plan.

Use NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp tool to see potential cost-saving programs in your area.

Ways to save

Money in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) can be used to pay for medical alert system equipment and monthly monitoring fees. These accounts are usually available through an employer and allow you to set aside money before taxes to pay for medical expenses.

FSA and HSA funds do have limitations: You can’t access FSA funds after retirement and funds don’t roll over into the next year. HSAs are only available if you have a health insurance plan with a high deductible. Although you can contribute to and access your HSA funds after retiring, once you’re enrolled in Medicare, you can access them but no longer contribute.

Check with your local area agency on aging to see if there are available programs in your area to help cover Lively medical alert system costs.

How to pay

You can purchase the Mobile Plus directly from Lively, through the website or over the phone, with a credit card or direct payment (pay by check). If you purchase your Mobile Plus through the website, you’ll pay with a debit or credit card.

For direct payments, Lively has a payment form you can download, print, and mail in if you’d like to mail in your monthly payments instead of making automatic monthly payments with your credit card.

Mail the filled-out form with payment to the following address:



P.O. BOX 4428


Lively services and health features

Lively offers two health and safety packages: basic and premium. They are available for all Lively medical alert devices, including Lively on Apple Watch and Amazon devices.

Basic Package ($24.99 per month)

Premium Packages ($34.99 per month)

You can view all health and safety services under Products in the main navigation bar of the Lively website. Lively Rides and Brain Games are only available with Lively Jitterbug phones.

Lively services screenshot

Urgent Response

Urgent Response is the 24/7 monitoring service from Lively and is available with the Mobile Plus, Apple Watch, and Alexa devices. You’ll contact the monitoring center in an emergency by pushing a help button (Mobile Plus and Apple Watch), triggering fall detection (Mobile Plus), or using your voice (Alexa devices). The monitoring center staff is certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

Using the personal information you shared with Lively during setup, the monitoring center staff will access your medical history, emergency response instructions, contacts, and other custom information set up in your Lively account, to share with emergency responders and to alert family and caregivers to the emergency.

Urgent Response is included with both the basic and premium packages.

Lively Link app

While the main function of the Lively app is to give the primary user the ability to contact the 24/7 monitoring center, the Lively Link app is designed for caregivers to stay in touch with the Lively user. Lively Link is included with both the basic and premium packages and offers location tracking, activity check-ups, device battery status, and notifications whenever the Lively user contacts the monitoring center. Lively and Lively Link apps are available for both Apple and Android phones and tablets.

Caregivers can view the primary user’s information through the online portal or by downloading Lively Link onto their phone or tablet, but only as long as they have been invited by the Lively user. The primary user will send an invitation from their private online portal, or from the Lively app, to their chosen caregivers to connect to their Lively account.

Lively Link features a map indicating where the user is when wearing the Mobile Plus. Our Reviews Team found that location tracking was more accurate the longer we stayed in one place.

Map view of the Lively user’s location on the Lively Link app during our Reviews Team’s hands-on testing
Caregivers can see their loved one’s location on the Lively Link app.

We liked that we were able to refresh the location in the app for the most up-to-date tracking. When we tapped the “Directions” button on the map screen, the app opened Apple Maps (Android devices will open Google Maps) and navigated us to the user’s location. Caregivers will also receive an alert when the user is away from home.

Fall Detection

Most medical alert systems with fall detection include this safety feature as an optional add-on, with an added monthly cost for the service. A fall detection device is usually worn as a necklace, with a built-in sensor that detects downward movement. When the sensor detects a fall, the device automatically contacts the monitoring center. With the Mobile Plus, the call to the monitoring center is not activated until 15 seconds have passed, to allow the user time to get up from the fall.

You can add fall detection to the Mobile Plus for $9.99 per month. According to our Reviews Team’s mystery shopping, the device should be worn around your neck to accurately trigger fall detection—it will disable if you wear the Mobile Plus on the belt clip included with your device and may set off a false positive when placed in your pocket.

“Falls at a higher velocity—those from a standing height or rolling off a bed—are more likely to be detected,” said Christopher Norman, a geriatric nurse practitioner based in New York state. “Falls from a seated position—like sliding off a chair or if the knees ‘give out’ so a person lowers to the floor—may not be detected due to the lower velocity.”

Norman points out this distinction to help users and their healthcare providers decide if the fall detection feature is likely to be beneficial based on personal health issues and needs.

When using Lively on Apple Watch, the fall detection technology is provided by Apple, not Lively. Fall detection is not available for Lively on Alexa devices.

Nurse On-Call

Nurse On-Call gives you 24/7 access to registered nurses and board-certified doctors. They are available to answer medical questions, write prescriptions, or refill common medications—all from your Lively medical alert system. No appointment, insurance, or copay is required.

You’ll speak with the doctor or nurse directly from your device by pressing the Urgent Response button and telling the monitoring center staff you’d like to use the Nurse On-Call feature. A staff member will connect you with an available medical professional.

Norman advises users to proceed with caution when using this service if the Nurse On-Call medical professional doesn’t have access to the user’s medical history and current prescriptions.

“Medications recommended by the Nurse On-Call service might interact negatively/dangerously with your existing, chronically taken medications,” said Norman. “I offer this same advice to anyone using urgent care, or even buying over the counter prescriptions themselves: Convenience is wonderful, but when too many people are prescribing medications for you, it can be dangerous.”

When our Reviews Team spoke with a sales representative about the service, they told us Nurse On-Call should not replace a primary care physician and should mainly be used when it’s inconvenient to meet with your physician, similar to going to an urgent care clinic.

Nurse On-Call is available with the Lively premium package.

Care Advocate

The Lively Care Advocate service assigns you a “care advocate” to help you set personal goals and access resources within your community. You’ll develop a personal care plan with your care advocate, focusing on what matters most to you: health goals, financial milestones, estate planning, and more. All care advocates are licensed social workers with a master’s degree.

Care Advocate is available with the premium package.

Lively customer service and satisfaction

Lively customer service hours are not listed on the Contact Us web page, so our Reviews Team called the department to find out customer service operating hours. You can speak with a customer service representative over the phone or by submitting an online contact form.

It was easy to navigate the Lively website and purchase the Mobile Plus directly online, but our Reviews Team had trouble purchasing Lively for Apple Watch over the phone. We were put on hold for up to 10 minutes multiple times, transferred to another department, and disconnected about five times.

Each customer service representative we spoke to was friendly, but no one seemed to know how to apply the Lively app on an Apple Watch we already owned (as opposed to buying a new watch and the Lively plan at the same time). The final representative our Reviews Team spoke to figured out how to download the app to our existing Apple Watch so we wouldn’t be transferred again.

Any other time our Reviews Team called customer service with questions about Lively for Apple Watch or Alexa devices, we were immediately transferred to another department, which became a hassle if we had questions about both the Mobile Plus and Apple Watch. Customer service representatives were friendly and helpful when our Reviews Team asked questions about the Mobile Plus, and they never tried to push a sale or pressure our mystery shoppers to buy a device during our research.

Lively warranty

The Mobile Plus includes a standard limited warranty of one year from the date of purchase. This warranty only covers damage that’s caused by manufacturing defects.

The Lively Protection Plan is available for $2.50 per month for the Mobile Plus. This covers accidents, battery replacement, normal wear and tear, and any accessories with your original product purchase.

The protection plan is not available for Lively on Apple Watch or Alexa devices.

Lively history

Customers may still know Lively as GreatCall, even after multiple acquisitions and name changes.

GreatCall was founded in 2005 and primarily focused on phones designed specifically for older adults. The company created the Jitterbug, advertised as “the world’s first easy-to-use cellphone.”

GreatCall acquired Lively, Inc. in 2015 and then was bought by Best Buy in 2018. The company changed its name from GreatCall to Lively in 2021, the same year its services became available for the Apple Watch.

Table 3 Comparison of Lively vs. other medical alert systems, as of December 2023

CompaniesLivelyMobileHelpMedical GuardianBay Alarm MedicalMedical AlertLife Alert
Starting monthly cost$24.99 $19.95$29.95 $24.95$19.95 $49.95
At-home system device range (feet)Anywhere with cellular service600–1,4001,300–1,4001,000800800
Connection typeCellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellular
Fall detection cost per month$9.99 (Mobile Plus)$11 $10 $10$10 N/A
Mobile battery lifeUp to 80 hoursUp to 3 daysUp to 5 daysUp to 5 daysUp to 5 daysUp to 3 days
Response time (seconds)15–251–151–151–1515–25N/A
On-the-go optionsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Location trackingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Water-resistant or waterproofWaterproofWater-resistantWater-resistantWater-resistantWater-resistantWater-resistant

Lively medical alert customer reviews

Lively has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) score of 1.13 out of 5 stars, based on 160 customer reviews. Lively does work to respond to and resolve every customer complaint, allowing the company to maintain its accreditation and an A+ rating with BBB. The brand is ranked 1.6 out of 5 stars and has a “bad” rating on Trustpilot based on 202 reviews.

The negative reviews on both sites are focused mainly on users’ frustration with the company’s Jitterbug phones and customer service, not the Mobile Plus or service for Apple watches and Alexa devices.

The Mobile Plus has a 4 out of 5-star rating from more than 200 Google Reviews. Many reviewers are caregivers stating that the device gives them and their loved ones peace of mind. Positive reviews also mention the affordable monthly price, simple activation and setup, waterproof durability, and the monitoring center’s quick response time.

Common complaints from negative reviewers were technical issues and already-opened packages when purchasing the Mobile Plus from Best Buy. One reviewer couldn’t activate two separate devices they bought from Best Buy, so Lively shipped a new Mobile Plus overnight, which they were able to activate with no issues. Other reviewers cited their “new” devices purchased from Best Buy were packaged in opened boxes with torn plastic.

Will Lively help prevent falls?

Lively fall detection technology does not prevent falls, but it can contact emergency services as soon as it senses a fall. Getting immediate access to medical services is crucial since lying on the floor for more than an hour after a fall can have serious health consequences. A 2001 study from Cambridge University defines this type of injury as a “long lie” and states that muscle damage, pneumonia, dehydration, pressure sores, and hypothermia can result from a long lie. [3]Lord S, et al. Falls in older people: Risk Factors and Strategies for Prevention. Cambridge University Press. 2001. Found on the internet at

While medical alert systems with fall detection are not guaranteed to detect 100% of falls, fall detection is still an important safety feature, especially for those with a higher risk of falling. Use NCOA’s Falls Free CheckUp to assess your fall risk and to receive free resources for falls prevention.

Bottom line

Lively offers Mobile Plus, a standard GPS-enabled on-the-go medical alert system, and Urgent Response monitoring services for Apple Watch and Alexa devices. Monthly fees for the Mobile Plus and Apple Watch are $24.99 or $34.99, depending on whether you choose the basic or premium package. Alexa devices only support the basic package.

The basic package includes 24/7 monitoring and Urgent Response, while the premium package offers those services plus on-demand telehealth services and access to professional care advocates. Both packages include access to the caregiver app, Lively Link. These health and wellness services make Lively stand out from other top medical alert systems we’ve reviewed.

The Mobile Plus is an excellent device for users who want access to a 24/7 monitoring center with the push of a button. If you add fall detection for $9.99 per month, the feature will be activated in the Mobile Plus—you don’t have to worry about wearing a separate fall detection necklace. Our Reviews Team was impressed with the device’s reliable fall detection during multiple drop tests, its waterproof durability, its linked caregiver app, and its lightweight, compact design.

Our biggest issue with testing Lively on the Apple Watch was trying to purchase the service over the phone. We were put on hold, transferred, and disconnected many times before speaking with a customer service representative who could help us. Our Reviews Team also couldn’t trigger fall detection on the watch during our testing, but since fall detection is provided by Apple, it does not reflect on the service Lively provides.

While Alexa devices don’t support Lively telehealth features or fall detection, Urgent Response may be a helpful feature if you already have an Alexa smart speaker and you don’t want to wear a medical alert necklace or medical alert bracelet.

Frequently asked questions

The starting monthly price for the Lively Mobile Plus is $24.99 for the basic package and $34.99 for the premium package. Fall detection is available for both packages as an add-on service for $9.99 per month.

Lively also offers its Urgent Response service for Apple watches and Amazon Alexa devices. Lively for Alexa is limited to Urgent Response services only and is $24.99 per month. Lively for Apple Watch includes the same extra features that are included with the Mobile Plus, at a monthly cost of $34.99 for the premium package. Lively also offers the $24.99 per month basic package for the Apple Watch.

Yes. From 2005–2015, GreatCall developed Jitterbug phones and offered services to older adults, like 24/7 access to registered nurses and GPS-enabled urgent response. In 2015 GreatCall acquired the software developer Lively Inc., and in 2021 the companies’ services were fully merged. Although GreatCall continues to have an online website separate from Lively, all of its products and services link directly to the Lively website.

Our Reviews Team gave Lively an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars, with an emphasis on its health services. In addition to its Urgent Response service, the company offers health check-ins, access to virtual care, a caregiver app, fall detection, and GPS location services. Some of our other top-rated medical alert system picks include Medical Care Alert, our choice for “Best Monitoring Center,” with 4.8 out of 5 stars; Bay Alarm Medical was our “Best for the Price” pick, with 4.5 stars; LifeFone had the “Best Customer-Friendly Policies,” with 4.5 stars; and Medical Guardian received 4.3 stars for its “Best Premium Features.”

Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and Part B) does not cover the cost of medical alert systems. Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) may cover part of the cost. The plans differ in each state, so if you use Medicare Advantage, call your plan provider to check for coverage. For more information on how to maximize your Medicare benefits, see the in-depth Medicare Guidance on NCOA’s Age Well Planner.

Lively has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) score of just 1.13 out of 5 stars, based on 160 customer reviews, and a “bad” rating on Trustpilot, with 1.6 out of 5 stars, based on 202 reviews. The negative reviews on both sites focus mainly on users’ frustration with the company’s Jitterbug phones and customer service, not the Mobile Plus or service for Apple watches and Alexa devices. Lively does work to respond to and resolve every customer complaint, which allows the company to maintain its accreditation and an A+ rating with BBB.

Our Reviews Team found the Lively monitoring center to be reliable, with a 15-25 second response time after pressing the help button. Customer service was easy to reach and friendly, but not always knowledgeable about Lively services, especially when we needed help setting the service up on an existing Apple Watch. Our Reviews Team member was put on hold multiple times and calls were disconnected several times before a customer service representative was able to help them figure it out.

You can find more information about the top medical alert systems in our Best Medical Alert Systems review.

Have questions about this review? Email us at


  1. Javier González-Cañete, Francisco and Casilari, Eduardo. A Feasibility Study of the Use of Smartwatches in Wearable Fall Detection Systems. Sensors. March 23, 2021. Found on the internet at
  2. Lee, Yongkuk, et al. Experimental Study: Deep Learning-Based Fall Monitoring among Older Adults with Skin-Wearable Electronics. Sensors. March 2023. Found on the internet at
  3. Lord S, et al. Falls in older people: Risk Factors and Strategies for Prevention. Cambridge University Press. 2001. Found on the internet at
Emily Breaux headshot
Emily Breaux Author
Emily Breaux is a writer with a background in education. She has written on multiple health care and technology topics, as well as for the higher education and hospitality industries. She specializes in medical alert systems and enjoys writing about hearing aids, health insurance, and wellness topics specifically for older adults.
Christopher Norman Headshot
Christopher Norman Medical Reviewer
Christopher Norman is a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Holistic Nurse. As a nurse’s aide, registered nurse and now nurse practitioner, he has loved working with older adults since 2004.
Was this helpful?
Thank you for your feedback!