Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2000

Lifeline Systems, Inc. (A)

by H. Kent Bowen and Marilyn Matis


Lifeline Systems provides emergency response equipment to the elderly who live at home. The company uses local hospitals to market, sell, and install these units in homes, while the hospital monitors and calls for aid to respond to emergency calls from the elderly subscribers. After serious performance problems due to ill-advised diversification strategies, the new CEO, Ron Feinstein, turns the company around by focusing on both hardware and service. Lifeline focuses on supporting the channel and takes over the monitoring service, which becomes the growth business. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Product Marketing; Sales; Problems and Challenges; Growth and Development Strategy; Managerial Roles; Service Operations; Hardware; Age; Service Delivery; Restructuring; Crisis Management; Health Industry; Service Industry;


Bowen, H. Kent, and Marilyn Matis. "Lifeline Systems, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 600-099, June 2000.