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Philips Lifeline

Concept generation


Every 2.3 seconds an adult over the age of 65 will fall in the US. Lifeline is the leading provider of personal response and emergency call systems in the US and Canada. When Philips acquired Lifeline in 2006 it recognised the opportunity to grow the business via technology-enabled services and asked Cambridge Consultants to facilitate the concept generation.


Before any ideas were generated, consumer insights were validated to see which ones resonated well with seniors and caregivers. Cambridge Consultants used the Structured Idea Management (SIM) process to help Philips Lifeline generate a broad range of ideas, across all the resonating insights, before evolving those ideas into five radical concepts aiming for mass appeal and a high likelihood of market success.

The technologies involved ranged from the height and motion sensing technology seen in the Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert, to a light-based solution. Three of the radical concepts tested well with an 850-strong crowd of seniors, caregivers and referral sources.


Lifeline AutoAlert, with patented technology, was launched in 2010. Worn around the neck, Lifeline with AutoAlert features the only pendant-style help button that automatically calls for help, wirelessly, if a fall is detected and the wearer is unable to push the help button.  As the device detects a fall, it automatically sends signals to caregivers, loved ones or emergency services via a Philips Lifeline call center.  An operator can also communicate directly with the subject through two-way speakerphone capabilities. Philips reported that, following its launch, more than half of new customers opt for the new premium service.