MobileHelp vs. GreatCall Lively: Which Is Best for You?

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

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Key Takeaways 

  • Many medical alert systems connect you to emergency response centers that operate 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • To choose the right system for you, consider your lifestyle, budget, and need for certain features, like auto fall detection.
  • MobileHelp and Lively (formerly GreatCall) have budget-friendly options and more expensive packages.
Unconscious woman on the floor

Emergencies can happen at any time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an older adult falls every second of every day, making it the leading cause of injury and death in the 65-plus age group. Medical alert systems help you plan for medical and other emergencies by providing fast access to emergency response call centers. 

MobileHelp and Lively (formerly GreatCall) are two medical alert system providers. MobileHelp has in-home and on-the-go packages, while Lively only offers on-the-go options. 

Both companies offer devices with automatic fall detection features and are beneficial for active older adults. 

MobileHelp vs. Lively Comparison Overview

Costs and Features
Upfront equipment fee
Lively (formerly Great Call)Starts at $49.99
MobileHelp$0
Monthly cost
Lively (formerly Great Call)Starts at $14.99
MobileHelpStarts at $19.95
Activation fee
Lively (formerly Great Call)$35
MobileHelp$0
Contract
Lively (formerly Great Call)None
MobileHelpNone
Add-on services costs
Lively (formerly Great Call)
  • Data plans start at $2.49 a month for some devices
  • Phones require a monthly emergency response fee
  • ER packages: $19.99–$34.99/month.
  • MobileHelp
  • Connect Premium Program: $5/month
  • Medication reminders: $5/month
  • Activity tracking with fall button: $5/month
  • Automatic fall button: $10/month
  • Wall buttons: $35.40/year
  • Extra help buttons: $24/year
  • Connection
    Lively (formerly Great Call)Verizon wireless broadband
    MobileHelpAT&T, landline, GPS
    Wall-mount buttons
    Lively (formerly Great Call)No
    MobileHelpYes
    Two-way communication
    Lively (formerly Great Call)Yes
    MobileHelpYes
    Battery life
    Lively (formerly Great Call)
  • Approximately 80 hours for rechargeable devices based on usage
  • 4 months for the Lively Wearable2 watch
  • MobileHelp
  • Mobile device: 24 hours
  • Base stations: 30 hours
  • Help buttons: 5 years
  • Water resistance
    Lively (formerly Great Call)Yes
    MobileHelpYes
    Automatic fall detection
    Lively (formerly Great Call)On one device only, $39.99 a month
    MobileHelpYes
    GPS locator
    Lively (formerly Great Call)Yes
    MobileHelpYes
    Call center hours
    Lively (formerly Great Call)24/7
    MobileHelp24/7
    Optional features
    Lively (formerly Great Call)
  • Belt clip
  • Lanyard
  • Auto fall detection
  • Emergency response service packages (for phones only)
  • MobileHelp
  • MobileHelp Connect App with caregiver tools
  • Medication reminders
  • Activity tracker with auto fall button
  • Waterproof wall buttons
  • MobileHelp Overview

    MobileHelp Logo

    MobileHelp is an American medical alert response company based in Florida. MobileHelp’s emergency response center is operated by Rapid Response, an independent company with call centers based in California and New York. With MobileHelp, no matter where you are in the country, you can connect to emergency help by pushing the button on your medical alert device. 

    MobileHelp is a good option for people who speak languages other than English, as many responders are bilingual and speak Spanish. Alarms involving other languages are handled in real-time through the LanguageLine interpreting service. LanguageLine has interpreters who cumulatively speak over 240 languages.

    MobileHelp provides at-home, on-the-go, and bundled medical alert package options. If you’re an active older adult who enjoys being outdoors and at home, you may find a package that is a good fit for you. 

    Each package has annual, semiannual, quarterly, or monthly payment options. There are no contracts required. Every package comes with a 30-day trial period. Most come with a free lockbox. 

    Each MobileHelp device can be enhanced with MobileHelp Connect Premium for $5 a month. This service locks in your monthly fee for two years. It also provides partial coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen devices, and you get a discount on MobileHelp’s medication reminder service and activity tracking when purchased with a fall button. The brand’s in-home medical alert packages come with one free waterproof wall button

    The Classic package consists of a base station and one waterproof help button that can be worn around the neck or wrist. This package has a 1,400-square-foot coverage range. 

    You do not need a landline to operate the Classic. Connectivity is provided through MobileHelp’s AT&T service. It also includes a free lockbox and a 30-day trial period. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $19.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    This plug-in-and-use landline package comes with a small base station and wearable help button pendant worn around the neck. It has a 600-foot coverage range, and a free lockbox is included with your package. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $24.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    The Touch Classic is MobileHelp’s most technologically advanced medical alert system. It comes with a plug-and-play tablet instead of a base station, plus a wearable help button. The tablet features a scrolling photo gallery and puzzle games such as Sudoku. 

    Activity tracking for caregivers and medication reminders can be added to this package for $5 each per month. An automatic fall button can also be added for $10 a month. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $54.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    This system includes a mobile unit that can be used indoors and outside, plus one waterproof help button. It uses GPS tracking to identify your location anywhere in the U.S., and no landline is required to operate the system. Also included with this system is a free waterproof wall button.

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $37.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    The micro is a small and lightweight wearable device. It does not require a base station or landline to operate. It can be worn indoors or outside, and since it’s waterproof, you can even wear it in the shower.

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $33.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    The Duo combines an in-home base unit, mobile unit with a charging cradle, and one waterproof help button. It provides broad-based protection indoors and outside through AT&T cellular connectivity and GPS tracking. No landline is required. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $41.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    The Mobile Duo is designed to be used by two people, provided they share an address. It includes one mobile device with a charging cradle and two water-resistant help buttons. It provides access to the emergency call center from indoor and outdoor locations via GPS location tracking. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $44.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    The Touch Duo combines the Touch Classic tablet with a mobile device, charging cradle, and help button. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment: $0
    • Activation fee: $0
    • Monthly fee: $54.95
    • Auto fall detection (optional): $10 per month

    Lively Overview

    Lively logo

    Lively, formerly known as GreatCall Lively Mobile, is owned by Best Buy Health. Lively exclusively sells mobile systems. 

    Lively manufactures two cell phones, including emergency access to an urgent response center. The company also produces two mobile medical alert devices specifically designed to access urgent response centers. 

    The phones are designed for active people on the go who don’t need automatic fall detection. Lively’s phone target audience includes active older adults and families with children and teenagers. The brand’s dedicated mobile alert devices are a viable option for active older adults and people who want a device that provides automatic fall detection. 

    Lively has the following three plan levels you can choose for your devices:

    • Basic: The basic plan provides access to the emergency response center. 
    • Preferred: With this plan you get access to medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, plus the emergency response center.
    • Ultimate: Through this plan you get access to emergency and medical response, plus the Lively Link app, which contains caregiver tools. Phone users can access a personal operator concierge service that provides help on the go, plus rideshare through Lively Ride, a Lyft service. Auto fall detection is included for mobile medical alert device users

    Lively sells its devices in stores and online. Walgreens, Best Buy, Target, and Amazon sell selected Lively models. If you’re an AARP member, make sure to get the discount that AARP provides on all devices. 

    Lively’s urgent response center is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and every call center agent is certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch

    If you have an Apple Watch, you can download the Lively app, which provides emergency response center access. The cost for this service is $29.99 per month. 

    The Jitterbug Flip2 is a flip phone with an oversized screen and large buttons. It has a powerful speaker, making it a good choice for people who use hearing aids or are hard of hearing. An urgent response center help button is located on the keypad. 

    The device has a long-lasting battery and access to Amazon Alexa. It also has a camera, flashlight, magnifier, and speed dial, but it does not have mobile internet access.

    Costs:

    • Equipment fee (cost of phone): $99.99 (wall charger and car charger are included)
    • Activation fee: $35 
    • Monthly plan fee: Value Talk ‘n Text is $14.99, plus $0.10 per text; Unlimited Talk ‘n Text is $19.99
    • Monthly Lively Health and Safety Package: Basic Package (urgent response only) is $19.99; Preferred Package (urgent response plus urgent care and Lively Link) is $24.99; Ultimate Package (urgent response, urgent care, Lively Link, and personal operator) is $34.99 

    This easy-to-use smartphone features voice typing for texts and emails. The Lively urgent response center button is located on the home screen. It features a large screen, video chat, and list-based menus for easy access. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment fee (cost of phone): $149.99 (wall charger and car charger are included)
    • Activation fee: $35
    • Monthly plan fee: Value Talk ‘n Text is $14.99, plus $0.10 per text; Unlimited Talk ‘n Text is $19.99
    • Monthly data plan fee: Ranges from $2.49 for 100 MB to $30 for unlimited data 
    • Monthly Lively Health and Safety Package: Basic Package (urgent response only) is $19.99; Preferred Package (urgent response plus urgent care and Lively Link) is $24.99; Ultimate Package (urgent response, urgent care, Lively Link, and personal operator) is $34.99.

    The Lively Mobile+ is a rechargeable mobile device you can wear on your wrist or neck. It’s waterproof and has a long-lasting battery with approximately 80 hours of standby time. 

    Automatic fall detection is included in the Ultimate Package but may not be operational when you wear your device on your wrist. Enhanced GPS accuracy ensures that help can find and reach you in a hurry. You can use your HSA, FSA, or HRA savings to pay for this device. 

    Costs:

    • Equipment fee (cost of device): $49.99 
    • Activation fee: $35
    • Monthly Lively Health and Safety Package: Basic Package (urgent response only) is $19.99; Preferred Package (urgent response plus urgent care and Lively Link) is $24.99; Ultimate Package (urgent response, urgent care, Lively Link, and auto fall detection) is $34.99

    The Lively Wearable2 is a small and discreet medical alert device you can wear on your wrist or around your neck on a lanyard. This device requires nearby access to a smartphone with the Lively Link app downloaded to reach the urgent response center. Press a button on your device, and your phone will automatically contact the center. If you have automatic fall detection, your device will call for you if you cannot, provided you’re wearing it around your neck

    This device has a step tracker and daily wellness tips. It’s also water-resistant, and the long-lasting battery provides up to four months of power, based on personal usage.

    Costs:

    • Equipment fee (cost of device): $49.99 
    • Activation fee: $35
    • Monthly Lively Health and Safety Package: Basic Package (urgent response only) is $19.99; Preferred Package (urgent response plus urgent care and Lively Link) is $24.99; Ultimate Package (urgent response, urgent care, Lively Link, and auto fall detection) is $34.99

    Similarities and Differences between MobileHelp and GreatCall Lively

    Both MobileHelp and Lively provide 24/7 emergency call center access. Only MobileHelp has in-home and outdoor packages available. Also, MobileHelp packages can be tailored to protect two people, provided they have the same address. 

    As for Lively, it only has on-the-go package options, but the brand sells phones that can be enhanced with emergency protection. Both companies have packages with prices that range from budget-friendly to expensive.

    What Are Customers Saying About Both Brands?

    Lively and MobileHelp get mostly high marks from users for customer service and fast response times. On the Better Business Bureau website, people have mentioned that they have trouble getting refunds or canceling their MobileHelp service. One user said he was blocked from posting a negative review on the MobileHelp website. 

    Lively Jitterbug phones get rave reviews from active older adults who want extra protection but aren’t ready to make the leap to dedicated emergency response devices.

    Bottom Line

    Medical alert systems can save your life in an emergency, but it’s important to get one that fits your lifestyle. If you spend lots of time outdoors and at home, MobileHelp may have a package that will fit your needs. The company also manufactures systems designed specifically for home use that can be run through a landline or cellular service.

    Lively produces mobile options, including phones that can be enhanced with emergency outreach. The company has good options for people who want an extra layer of protection away from home. 

    Why You Can Trust Us

    You deserve the best products for a better quality of life. As such, we strive to create honest, helpful reviews. Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers.

    We’ve spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. Our content is medically reviewed and unbiased to help you choose the right medical alert system for you or your loved one.

    We did the following when researching MobileHelp and Lively medical alert systems:

    • Engaged in ongoing independent research
    • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
    • Mystery shopped the brands
    • Surveyed medical alert system users
    • Interviewed experts in the field
    • Read verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Packages start at $19.95 per month and go up to $54.95 without add-ons like automatic fall detection.

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    WRITTEN BY

    Corey Whelan is a writer, health care professional, and Brooklyn, New York native. She is a reproductive health advocate who has helped countless patients through the trials and triumphs of infertility and adoption over the past 25 years. Corey's passion is sharing her knowledge of health and wellness through her writing, and no topic is off limits. She's mom to two grown children and two rescue dogs who captured her heart.

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    Corey Whelan, "MobileHelp vs. GreatCall Lively: Which Is Best for You?," last modified: Jul 18, 2022, https://aginginplace.org/medical-alert-systems/mobilehelp-vs-greatcall/.