Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1999

Lifeline Systems, Inc. (B)

by H. Kent Bowen and Marilyn Matis


In 1997, Lifeline Systems continues to grow its service business to $32 million, 56% of the company's total revenues. More local hospital Lifeline programs turn over their monitoring service to Lifeline Central, expanding the company's subscriber base by 30%. The company decides to invest over $11 million in a new subscriber monitoring system to maintain its market leadership. At the end of 1998, Lifeline moves its corporate headquarters from Cambridge, MA to suburban Boston to lower real estate costs. Changes in the eldercare industry also spell growth: employers become interested in providing eldercare referral as an employee benefit, cuts in Medicare result in less home health care by nurses, and Lifeline forms strategic partnerships with the American Red Cross and an assisted-living community developer.

Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Information Technology; Expansion; Cost Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Change; Customer Relationship Management; Service Operations; Age; Investment; Health Industry; Technology Industry; Cambridge; Boston;


Bowen, H. Kent, and Marilyn Matis. "Lifeline Systems, Inc. (B)." Harvard Business School Case 699-038, February 1999.