The Best Rated Medical Alert System of 2023 : Find Your Perfect Fit
Choosing the best rated medical alert system is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the safety and independence of seniors or individuals with medical conditions.
Definition and Importance of Medical Alert Systems
A medical alert system, also known as a personal emergency response system (PERS), is a wearable mobile device or an in-home console equipped with a button that can be pressed to summon emergency medical help. It connects the user to a call center with trained operators who assess the situation and either dispatch local emergency services or notify the user’s chosen emergency contacts.
These systems are particularly crucial for older adults and people living with chronic medical conditions or disabilities. They provide a lifeline in emergencies, allowing users to live independently with the reassurance that help is just a button press away.
The Need for Medical Alert Systems for Seniors
Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults over the age of 65. A medical alert system can provide immediate help in the event of a fall or other medical emergencies. However, the effectiveness of these systems depends on the willingness of the user to wear the device and use it when necessary.
Despite some reluctance among older adults to use these devices, research indicates that medical alert systems enable older adults to remain active and independent, largely by instilling confidence in them and their families about their safety.
Statistics on Falls and Emergencies Among Seniors
Falls and other medical emergencies are a significant concern for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four older adults falls each year, and falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.
How Medical Alert Systems Work
Medical alert systems operate in a straightforward manner:
- Press the Help Button: A single press of the help button sends a call to a response center. This button can be on an in-home console or a mobile device like a pendant, wristband, or pocket unit.
- Operator Response and Communication: An operator answers the call and establishes two-way communication with the user. If the operator cannot establish communication or if the user does not respond, they will dispatch local emergency services to the user’s location.
- Assessment of Needs: Operators are trained to analyze and respond to all kinds of emergencies. They stay on the line with the user until help arrives.
- Dispatch of Emergency Help: The user and the operator decide what help is needed. It may be someone on the user’s emergency contact list or local emergency services.
Types of Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems can be categorized based on where they’re used (in-home or on the go) and who you talk to through the device (a professional monitoring center, a friend, or 911).
- In-Home Medical Alert Systems: An in-home medical alert system consists of a base station, a wearable device, and optional accessories like wall buttons or voice extenders. The base station functions as a speakerphone, so it should be kept in a central location where the user will be able to talk to the monitor if needed. The wearable device only works if it stays near the base station, so it’s best for folks who spend most of their time at home.
- Mobile Medical Alert Systems: A mobile medical alert system works outside the home and runs off battery power. Mobile alert systems typically include GPS tracking technology. This helps the monitoring center (or your loved ones via a smartphone app) know exactly where you are in an emergency.
Automatic Fall Detection
Automatic Fall Detection is a feature in medical alert systems that automatically detects falls and notifies an emergency monitoring center. These systems use wearable devices equipped with sensors to detect falls. In the event of a fall, the system alerts the monitoring center, where trained operators assess the situation and request assistance based on your personal preferences.
You can also manually trigger an alert by pressing a help button or interacting with a voice-activated device, depending on your type of medical alert system and subscription. Medical alert systems provide 24/7 monitoring services in your preferred language. The starting prices for these systems can range from $19.95 to $39.99 per month, with most offering fall detection as an add-on feature for an extra $5.00 to $10.00 per month.
These systems support both active and homebound individuals with various devices, such as waterproof help button pendants, two-way speaker base stations, and global positioning system (GPS)-enabled mobile units. Some services also offer smartwatches and touch-screen tablets with built-in monitoring tools. Additionally, a few providers offer mobile apps, biometric tracking, and medication reminders.
Personal Emergency Response System
A personal emergency response system (PERS) is a device that allows you to call for help in an emergency by pushing a button. A PERS has three components:
- A small radio transmitter: This is a lightweight, battery-powered device that you can wear around your neck, on a wristband, on a belt, or keep in your pocket.
- A console connected to your telephone: When you need help, you press the transmitter’s help button, which sends a signal to the console. The console automatically dials one or more emergency telephone numbers.
- An emergency response center that monitors calls: Most PERS are programmed to telephone an emergency response center. The center will try to find out the nature of your emergency. They also may review your medical history and check who should be notified.
You can purchase, rent, or lease a PERS. However, keep in mind that Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies typically don’t pay for the equipment, and the few that do require a doctor’s recommendation. If you buy a PERS, expect to pay an installation fee and a monthly monitoring charge. Rentals are available through national manufacturers, local distributors, hospitals, and social service agencies, and fees often include the monitoring service.
When choosing a PERS, it’s important to ask the company questions such as:
- Is the monitoring center open 24/7? What kind of training does the staff receive?
- What’s the average response time, and who gets alerted?
- Will I be able to use the same system with other response centers if I move? What if I move to another city or state?
- What’s your repair policy? What happens if I need a replacement?
- What are the initial costs? What costs are ongoing? What kind of services and features will I get?
In the next sections, we will delve deeper into the different types of medical alert systems, their features, and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Types of Medical Alert Systems
An in-home medical alert system consists of a base station, a wearable device, and optional accessories like wall buttons or voice extenders. The base station functions as a speakerphone, so it’s best to keep it in a central location where you’ll be able to talk to the monitor if needed. The wearable device only works if it stays near the base station, making it ideal for individuals who spend most of their time at home.
In-home medical alert systems use either a landline or cellular connection to place calls when the button is pressed. Landline medical alert systems are more affordable than cellular systems and more reliable in remote areas. On the other hand, cellular in-home medical alerts are a little more expensive but usually pair with more accessories, like wall buttons and extra pendants, compared to landline systems.
A mobile medical alert system works outside the home and runs off battery power. Mobile alert systems typically include GPS tracking technology. This helps the monitoring center (or your loved ones via a smartphone app) know exactly where you are in an emergency.
Here are the most common types of mobile medical alert systems:
- Pocket base stations pair with the same necklace or wristband button that you’d wear around your home. The speaker and microphone are in the base station, so don’t forget to grab it before you head out the door.
- All-in-one mobile medical alert devices are worn on a lanyard or belt clip. They’re lightweight and let you keep track of just one device.
- Medical alert smartwatches include two-way talk and a help button. They’re discreet, modern, and usually offer some extra functions like fitness-tracking apps. However, it’s tough to find fall detection in medical alert watches.
- Bluetooth medical alerts use your smartphone to make phone calls once the help button is pressed. They have a long battery life (months at a time) but you have to keep your phone charged up and nearby at all times.
Hybrid medical alert systems are designed to provide safety and security for users whether they are at home or on the go. These systems are a combination of in-home and mobile systems, ensuring that users are protected in all situations.
Hybrid systems typically come with a base unit equipped with a help button and two-way speaker, and a wearable help pendant or bracelet. The base unit is designed for use at home, while the wearable device can be used when the user is out and about.
During an emergency, the user can press the help button on either the base station or the pendant, and they’ll be connected to the company’s 24/7 monitoring center. A live operator will help the user get the assistance they need based on the situation, whether it’s a family member, neighbor, or first responders. If the operator is unable to get a response from the user, they’ll send help straight away.
Comparison of Home Medical Alert Systems and Mobile Medical Alert Systems
While home medical alert systems are ideal for individuals who spend most of their time at home, mobile medical alert systems offer more flexibility for active individuals who are often out and about. Home systems are generally more affordable and offer a wider range of accessories, while mobile systems offer GPS tracking and portability.
Choosing between a home and mobile system depends on the user’s lifestyle, budget, and specific needs. For instance, if the user is prone to falls and spends most of their time at home, an in-home system with fall detection might be the best choice. On the other hand, if the user is active and frequently leaves the house, a mobile system with GPS tracking would be more suitable.
In the next sections, we will delve deeper into the features of medical alert systems, how to choose the right one, and the top-rated medical alert systems.
Features of Medical Alert Systems
Help Buttons and Two-Way Speakers
Help buttons and two-way speakers are integral parts of most medical alert systems. The two-way voice feature is particularly powerful as it allows the user to speak hands-free to trained central dispatchers who can gather information for emergency services and keep the user calm during the process. This feature is a staple and a requirement of a life monitoring system.
Automatic Fall Detection
Automatic fall detection is a feature that has become increasingly common in medical alert systems. Some devices can automatically detect falls and summon help, without the wearer needing to do anything. This feature is particularly valuable in cases where people fall and get trapped or fall and can’t get back up due to weakness or injury.
GPS Location Tracking
GPS location tracking is a crucial feature for mobile medical alert systems. Seniors today are more mobile and independent than ever before, so it’s vital that a medical alert system be able to detect where they are. Certain medical conditions can make it tough for seniors to know precisely where they are, so they can’t answer questions about their location in an emergency. With GPS-enabled devices, a person’s location can be pinpointed within a few feet.
Mobile Device Compatibility
Mobile device compatibility is another important feature of medical alert systems. Some medical alert systems are cell-based and work anywhere there’s cell phone coverage. Others are landline-based and only work in the home. It’s important to be aware of a landline-based medical alert system’s range, which is usually 400 to 1,000 feet of coverage, adequate for most homes.
Medication reminders are a feature not all systems have and some are more basic than others. In its most common and affordable form, the system can be programmed to alert the user that it’s time to take their medicine at predetermined times.
Choosing the Right Medical Alert System
When it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of our loved ones, especially the elderly, medical alert systems play a crucial role. However, choosing the right system can be a daunting task given the plethora of options available in the market. This section aims to guide you through the process of selecting the most suitable medical alert system for your needs.
Factors to Consider: Reliability, Price, Aesthetics, Extra Perks
When selecting a medical alert system, it’s essential to consider several factors:
- Reliability: The system should be dependable and work when it’s needed the most. It should have a good battery life, a strong signal range, and a reliable connection (whether it’s landline or cellular).
- Price: The cost of the system is another crucial factor. It’s important to understand the pricing structure, including any upfront costs, monthly fees, and potential hidden charges.
- Aesthetics: The design of the system can influence whether the user will wear it consistently. Some users may prefer a system that looks more like a piece of jewelry rather than a medical device.
- Extra Perks: Some systems offer additional features such as automatic fall detection, GPS location tracking, medication reminders, and more. These features can provide added peace of mind and convenience.
Landline vs. Cellular Systems
Medical alert systems can connect to the monitoring center via a landline or a cellular network.
- Landline Systems: These systems connect to the monitoring center through a traditional phone line. They are usually less expensive than cellular systems but require a landline connection, which may not be available in all homes.
- Cellular Systems: These systems use a cellular network to connect to the monitoring center. They are more flexible as they can work anywhere with a cellular signal, making them suitable for users who are often on the go.
Pendants, Smartwatches, or Portable Base Stations
The form factor of the medical alert device is another important consideration.
- Pendants: These are wearable devices that can be worn around the neck. They usually have a help button that the user can press in case of an emergency.
- Smartwatches: These devices function like a regular watch but with the added functionality of a medical alert system. They can be more discreet and stylish than traditional pendants.
- Portable Base Stations: These are mobile devices that can be carried around. They usually have a larger range than pendants and smartwatches and often come with additional features such as a speaker for two-way communication.
Importance of Choosing the Right Medical Alert System
Choosing the right medical alert system is crucial as it can significantly impact the user’s safety and independence. A well-chosen system can provide peace of mind to both the user and their loved ones, knowing that help is just a button press away in case of an emergency. It’s therefore important to take the time to research and choose a system that best fits the user’s lifestyle, needs, and preferences.
What are the Best Rated Medical Alert System in 2023?
Reviews: Top Rated Medical Alert Systems in 2023
In this section, we will explore some of the top-rated medical alert systems, including Bay Alarm Medical, Medical Guardian, and others. We will compare their features, prices, and customer reviews to help you make an informed decision.
1. Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical Alert
Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical Alert
Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical Alert is a highly recommended system due to its easy installation, fast response times, and reasonable monthly subscription price. Bay Alarm Medical offers an In-Home Medical Alert System that is rated as one of America’s top choices.
This system is designed to provide 24/7 emergency care and is priced from $24.95 per month. The system is easy to set up and use, and it includes the in-home base unit, a wearable help button, and a vial of life.
Here are some key details about the Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical Alert System:
- In-Home Base Unit: The in-home base unit is included in all in-home systems. It features a two-way speaker, a built-in help button, and a 32-hour backup battery.
- Wearable Combo Button: The wearable combo button can be worn on your wrist or around your neck. When pressed, it signals the base console to initiate 2-way communication with Bay Alarm Medical’s 24/7 call center.
- Vial of Life: The Vial of Life provides EMS with your medical information during an emergency. It comes with the information sheet, a durable plastic sleeve, and a magnetic strip.
- Lockbox (Optional Add-on): The lockbox is designed to allow EMS to enter your home without breaking down your door or windows. A copy of your house key(s) is stored inside, and the secret combination of the box is saved at the call center.
The system is powered by 4G LTE and can connect either through a traditional landline or wirelessly through a 4G LTE cellular network. For customers who choose cellular, all billing will be through Bay Alarm Medical.
The system also comes with a price lock guarantee, ensuring that your monthly rate will never increase. Bay Alarm Medical does not require any long-term contracts, and services can be cancelled at any time.
The company also offers a range of accessories, including wall buttons for added safety in high-risk areas of your home, and automatic fall detection buttons. The help buttons are designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and 100% waterproof, with a signal range of up to 1000ft and a battery life of up to 5 years.
Bay Alarm Medical also provides complimentary service for your spouse or an additional family member within the same household. You just need to purchase a second button, and they will provide free monthly monitoring for it.
The Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical Alert System is a comprehensive solution for seniors and individuals who require emergency assistance. It offers a range of features and options to suit different needs and preferences, and it is backed by a company with a strong reputation for quality and customer service.
- Features: The system comes with an oversized help button and a waterproof call button pendant. Optional fall detection pendant and wireless wall buttons are also available.
- Pricing: The pricing plans are affordable, starting from $24.95 per month. There are no hidden fees or long-term contracts.
- Customer Reviews: Customers have praised Bay Alarm Medical for their friendly and informative care representatives, who ask many questions to better understand the customers’ needs. The company has gained trust for its non-pushy sales approach and its focus on customer comfort.
2. Medical Guardian MGMove Smartwatch
Medical Guardian MGMove Smartwatch
The Medical Guardian MGMove Smartwatch is a premium brand in the medical alert industry, offering state-of-the-art technology and around-the-clock support. It is a stylish and lightweight device that offers a quick connection to an emergency response agent. It is priced at $199.95 upfront, with a monthly subscription of $39.95. For an additional $5 per month, the Step Up Feature unlocks Support Circle reminders and messaging apps. However, it does not offer fall detection.
The smartwatch has a thin glossy black bezel, full-color touch-enabled watch face, and flexible black wrist band. It is equipped with cellular (AT&T), GPS, and Wi-Fi radios, as well as a rechargeable battery that should last for up to 24 hours between charges. The watch face is 1.25 inches in diameter and has an IP67 water-resistance rating, making it suitable for use in the rain and during showers.
The MGMove watch offers various features, including a step counter, medicine and appointments reminders, and integration with a caregiver app. This app allows members of your Support Circle (caregivers, family members, and friends) to track your activities and locate you.
The watch performed well in testing, taking only about 26 seconds on average to connect to a live agent after pressing the SOS button. The step counter feature was accurate, and GPS tracking was also precise.
Despite lacking a fall detection feature, the Medical Guardian MGMove Smartwatch is one of the more full-featured mobile medical alert devices available, earning it the Editors’ Choice award from PCMag for the category.
- Features: The smartwatch, which you can wear in the shower, does almost everything that the speaker does, plus has a built-in heart rate monitor and a pedometer. Caregivers and family members should also appreciate the system’s GPS and Wi-Fi tracking abilities. The watch doesn’t offer fall detection but it does let you make hands-free calls to people in your contact list.
- Pricing: The pricing plans start from $29.95 per month. There are no contracts, and they offer 1 free month of service.
- Customer Reviews: Customers have highlighted the company’s industry-leading support, helpful Risk Assessment, and advanced technology, making the Medical Guardian a solid choice for users of all needs and lifestyles.
3. LifeFone At-Home and On-the-Go GPS Voice-in-Necklace
LifeFone At-Home and On-the-Go GPS Voice-in-Necklace
LifeFone At-Home and On-the-Go GPS Voice-in-Necklace is a leading provider in the medical alert service industry and has been recognized by doctors, hospitals, and caregivers along with their users. It is a mobile medical alert pendant that provides immediate emergency help with the push of a button, no matter where you are.
This lightweight pendant uses cellular, GPS, and Wi-Fi technology to help pinpoint your exact location in the event that you are unable to provide this information to the emergency response agent.
- Fast response times: The average response time was around 25 seconds in tests.
- Excellent battery life: The LifeFone necklace can go up to 30 days between charges. However, if you subscribe to fall detection, battery life will be reduced to around five days.
- Uses cellular, Wi-Fi, and GPS technologies: The Voice-in-Necklace uses Verizon’s cellular service to place calls, unless you opt for the fall detection feature, in which case it uses AT&T’s cellular service. It’s also equipped with GPS and Wi-Fi radios to help pinpoint your exact location.
- Robust optional caregiver features: You can subscribe to several features that let friends, family, and caregivers monitor your whereabouts, and you can opt to receive daily check-in calls and medication reminders.
The Voice-in-Necklace carries a price of $39.99 per month if you pay annually ($399.50/year), but that price goes up to $41.95 per month if you pay quarterly ($125.85/quarter). If you pay by the month, the cost is $43.95 per month. All three pricing plans include one-touch access to the 24/7 emergency response center and a personalized care plan where an agent will notify your list of friends, family, and physicians in the event of an emergency.
For an extra $5 per month you can add fall detection, and for another $5 per month you can add LifeFone Protection that protects against loss or theft, water damage, damage from normal wear and tear, and power surges. For an extra $19 per month the Daily Check-in service has an agent call in at a specific time each day to make sure that everything is OK. If you do not respond, the agent will dispatch emergency personnel and notify your contacts.
Medicine reminders cost an extra $6 per month, or you can subscribe to the LifeFone Location Service, which offers medicine reminders and access to the Caregiver Portal that lets an authorized caregiver track your whereabouts on a map using GPS and Wi-Fi signals. The portal also displays the last four locations of the pendant, recent help button presses, and the pendant’s current battery level.
The LifeFone At-Home and On-the-Go GPS Voice-in-Necklace is a solid choice for a medical alert system due to its fast response times, excellent battery life, and robust optional caregiver features. It’s a bit more expensive than some other options, but its performance and long battery life make it a worthwhile investment.
- Features: The system offers lots of add-on services from medicine reminders to a daily check-in service in which an agent will call at a specific time each day and dispatch emergency help if you do not respond. It also offers a fall detection option.
- Pricing: The pricing plans start from $24.95 per month. There is a one-time equipment fee of $96.95 for the mobile system.
- Customer Reviews: Customers have praised LifeFone for their excellent customer service, reliable equipment, and affordable pricing. They also appreciate the company’s price lock guarantee, which ensures that the monthly rate will never increase.
These are just a few of the top-rated medical alert systems available today. Each system has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing a system. In the next part of this article, we will continue to review more top-rated medical alert systems.
Top Rated Medical Alert Systems (Part 2)
In this section, we continue our exploration of top-rated medical alert systems. We’ll delve into the details of some more systems, comparing their features, prices, and customer reviews. We’ll also discuss how to choose the right medical alert system for your needs.
4. WellBe Medical Alert Plus
WellBe Medical Alert Plus
WellBe Medical Alert Plus is a feature-rich system that includes a smartwatch with an emergency call button and a smart speaker that provides medication, appointment, and prescription refill reminders. The system is quick to provide help when needed. The WellBe Medical Alert Plus system is a unique medical alert system that offers both at-home and mobile emergency monitoring.
It comes with a voice-enabled smart speaker and a smartwatch, both of which serve as virtual health assistants. The system is designed to provide medicine reminders, appointment reminders, and prescription refill reminders. It can also play music, control smart home devices, and even answer general questions.
The smartwatch features an emergency call button with two-way talk and has a built-in heart rate monitor and a pedometer. It’s water-resistant, meaning you can wear it in the shower. The watch connects to the same cloud account and uses the same WellBe Voice platform as the speaker, and can do pretty much anything that the speaker does with the exception of playing music and audiobooks.
The WellBe Medical Alert Plus system costs $199.95 for the hardware (speaker and watch), and $44.95 per month for the service. The service includes access to a 24/7 emergency response center, 4G LTE cellular connectivity powered by T-Mobile, the mobile app, and all of the above-mentioned voice functionality, reminders, medical advice, and notification features.
The system delivered fast emergency response times in testing, with the speaker system averaging a 10-second response time and the watch averaging 15 seconds. The response agents were always professional and friendly, and two-way communications were loud and clear.
The WellBe Medical Alert Plus is a feature-rich medical alert system that uses a smart speaker and a smartwatch to connect you to an emergency response agent, remind you to take your meds, play music, and much more. It’s a solid choice for anyone looking for a versatile medical alert system.
- Features: The smartwatch includes a built-in heart rate monitor and a pedometer. The system also offers GPS and Wi-Fi tracking abilities. However, it does not offer fall detection.
- Pricing: The system is on the pricier side, but the cost is justified by the extensive features it offers.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the system’s fast response times and the variety of features it offers.
5. Aloe Care Health
Aloe Care Health
Aloe Care Health is an in-home system that includes a smart hub with an emergency call button and a call button pendant with a 200-foot range. The hub monitors air quality, motion, and room temperature, and enables hands-free communications with family members and caregivers.
Aloe Care Health is a comprehensive medical alert system that provides a range of services to ensure the safety and well-being of older adults, especially those living alone and at an increased risk of falls. The system is designed to provide multiple layers of support, including emergency alert capabilities, automatic fall detection, room sensors, two-way communication, and a collaborative care app.
Here are some key features and details about Aloe Care Health:
- Voice-Activated Smart Hub: This device connects directly to a 24/7 emergency response center. It also monitors air quality (VOC, CO2), environmental conditions, and motion. When anomalies occur, care teams receive an alert.
- Mobile Companion Go: This wearable device has 4G capabilities, allowing it to work outside the home. It provides always-on, on-the-go protection with built-in fall detection and nationwide GPS.
- Cost: The cost ranges from $29.99 to $49.99 per month, with an upfront equipment cost of $99.99 to $349.99 depending on the package.
- Care Collaboration App: This app, included with all packages, allows for unlimited users to join. It is designed for personal and professional caregivers to communicate with each other and the user. The app provides an overview of the weather, temperature, and inside air quality, as well as a motion detection log.
- Smart Fall Sensor: Available in the Total Care package, this sensor can detect if someone is standing, sitting, or laying down. If the sensor detects that someone is lying down for one to two minutes, a voice prompt will ask the person to stand within one minute. If the person does not stand after one minute, a two-way call will be established with Aloe Care’s Monitoring Center to triage the emergency.
Online reviews for Aloe Care Health are largely positive, with many users appreciating the peace of mind it provides and the ease of use of the devices. The system is particularly beneficial for older adults who are not bedbound and spend extended periods of time at home with minimal in-person support.
- Features: The system is easy to set up and offers quick response times. It does not offer add-on medical services.
- Pricing: Pricing details are not specified.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the system’s ease of setup and quick response times.
6. Lively Mobile Plus
Lively Mobile Plus
Lively Mobile Plus is a mobile medical alert device that offers an average emergency response time of just 15 seconds. It is a comprehensive medical alert system designed to seamlessly integrate into your life, providing swift contact with emergency personnel when needed.
Here’s a detailed review of the system:
- System Components: The Lively Mobile Plus is an all-in-one device, meaning there’s no need for a base station or other equipment. It’s designed to be carried with you wherever you go.
- Technology: The device is equipped with two-way communication capabilities and enhanced GPS accuracy for precise, real-time location tracking.
- Added Features: The “Ultimate Package” ($39.99 per month) includes access to fall detection technology.
- Fall Detection: The device features a sensor in the lanyard that detects sudden movement. However, some users find it lacks sensitivity and doesn’t respond as quickly as desired.
- Real-Time Emergency Connectivity: When the alarm is pressed on the wearable, the device alerts an emergency response center. The response time is approximately 20 seconds.
- Wearability: The device rests at chest level for a person of average height. The alarm is a small recessed square in the middle of the device.
- Ease of Use: The device is simple to set up and use. There’s a telephone number on the website if an individual needs help with ordering or preparing to use the device.
- Cost: The device can be purchased either on the Lively website or from several other online and brick-and-mortar stores. The basic package costs $24.99 for emergency response only, the preferred package costs $29.99 and includes a link to a family member, and the ultimate package costs $39.99 and includes urgent care and fall detection.
Overall, the Lively Mobile Plus medical alert system is a solid option for anyone looking to improve their safety while living an independent life both inside and outside the home. However, the performance of the automatic fall detection feature could be improved, and nightly charging could pose an issue for users who are likely to forget to put it back on each morning. On the plus side, it’s a bonus to be able to wear the device in the shower without impacting its functionality.
- Features: The device offers optional fall detection and 24/7 access to doctors and nurses for medical advice and prescription refills.
- Pricing: The system is reasonably priced.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the system’s fast response times and small, lightweight design.
7. MobileHelp Classic
MobileHelp Classic is an affordable medical alert system that offers several advanced features including a wearable call button pendant, cellular connectivity,and a backup battery that provides up to 30 hours of power. It is a comprehensive in-home medical alert system that uses cellular technology to connect you to a 24/7 emergency response center with the press of a button.
The system is easy to install and offers quick response times. It uses AT&T’s cellular network to connect to a live emergency response agent.
The subscription costs $29.95 per month, but you can save money with a quarterly plan ($83.85 for three months), a semi-annual plan ($159.70 for six months), or an annual plan ($324.40 for a year).
The MobileHelp Classic uses a wedge-shaped Integrity Tracking CBS2-01 cellular base station that measures 3.0 by 7.0 by 6.0 inches (HWD) and contains large Emergency and Reset buttons, a Test button, and small LCD panel that is 2.2 inches wide and 0.75 inch high. The Emergency button is backlit red and the Reset button is backlit blue, making them easy to see them in the dark. The panel displays the current room temperature and the date and time, and it has a cellular signal and battery gauge.
The system comes with a choice of help button that can be worn around the house on a neck lanyard or on your wrist. It’s waterproof and has a range of up to 600 feet from the base station. The MobileHelp Connect online suite lets you manage your account on a web browser or a mobile app (available for Android and iOS). It offers free services including emergency, non-emergency, and system status alerts via email and/or text message, a history of events (button and pendant presses, fall detection, system ready), a list of recent locations (for mobile), and location requests (also for mobile).
The MobileHelp Classic is a cellular system that’s a bit more affordable than the competition, making it a top choice for in-home medical alert systems.
- Features: The system includes a display panel that shows the date, time, and current room temperature, and a cellular signal strength indicator. It also offers quick response times and is easy to install.
- Pricing: Pricing details are not specified.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the system’s quick response times and easy installation.
8. LifeStation In Home No Landline Medical Alert System
LifeStation In Home No Landline Medical Alert System
LifeStation In Home No Landline Medical Alert System is known for its quick connection with an emergency response agent and its long-range wearable help button. It is a desktop medical alert system that connects you to an emergency response agent within seconds of pressing its big Emergency Call button. It uses built-in cellular connectivity and comes with a long-range help button that you can wear around the house and yard.
However, it doesn’t offer any add-on services or a mobile app. It earns high marks for its speedy response times, but if you require a system that provides things like medicine reminders, wellness checks, and instant medical advice, the MobileHelp Classic or WellBe Medical Alert Plus might be a better choice.
- The system doesn’t rely on telephone landlines; instead, it uses AT&T’s 4G LTE network to connect you to a 24/7 emergency response center.
- The base station has a built-in backup battery that will continue to supply power to the device for up to 24 hours in the event of a power outage.
- The round wearable help button is waterproof and can be worn in the shower or out in the rain. The device is 1.5 inches wide and has a small 0.7-inch button in the center that will initiate a call to the emergency response center. It has a 600-foot range and can be worn around your neck as a pendant or on your wrist as a bracelet.
- The LifeStation In Home No Landline system doesn’t require a contract, but at $32.95 per month, it’s more expensive than the MobileHelp Classic ($29.95 per month). On the plus side, it doesn’t require a contract. Add another $10 per month if you want fall detection and another $2.95 per month for a wall button or a lockbox.
The LifeStation In Home system’s average response time of 12 seconds makes it one of the fastest systems tested, coming in just two seconds behind the speedy WellBe Medical Alert Plus (10 seconds). Two-way audio was loud and clear, and the live agents were always friendly. Additionally, the wearable help button showed excellent range in tests, connecting to the base station from as much as 500 feet away.
- Features: The base station uses cellular technology and does not require a landline. It has a large Emergency Call button with Braille lettering and a backup battery that can power the device for up to 24 hours in the event of an outage.
- Pricing: The system is slightly pricier than some other options.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the system’s fast response times and excellent pendant range.
9. LifeStation Sidekick Smart
LifeStation Sidekick Smart
LifeStation SideKick Smart is a stylish medical alert watch that has GPS and Wi-Fi radios that allow emergency response agents to pinpoint your location. It is a versatile smartwatch that doubles as a medical alert device.
It is priced at $43.95 per month and offers a range of features that make it a worthwhile consideration for those seeking a stylish and discreet mobile medical alert system.
- Emergency Response: The device can connect the wearer with an emergency response agent at the press of a button. It uses onboard Bluetooth and 4G cellular radios to establish this connection.
- Health Tracking: The Sidekick Smart also measures heart rate and tracks daily step count, providing a basic level of health monitoring.
- Location Tracking: GPS and Wi-Fi radios allow emergency response agents to pinpoint the wearer’s exact location.
- Weather Reports: The device can display local weather reports.
- Battery: The watch is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It is recommended to charge it daily with the included cradle.
The Sidekick Smart does not offer fall detection services, and it lacks a mobile app, medicine reminders, and caregiver services. However, family members can pinpoint the wearer’s exact location using the free “Find My Loved One” feature.
In tests, the Sidekick Smart delivered quick response times, averaging 28 seconds from the press of the button to the response from an agent. The heart rate monitor and pedometer features were found to be accurate, matching readings from a Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker.
While the device offers a range of features, it is noted that the WellBe Medical Alert Plus system offers additional functionality, including access to medical advice, medication and prescription refill reminders, and a range of caregiver features.
Overall, the LifeStation Sidekick Smart is a versatile smartwatch that serves as a 24/7 medical alert device, a pedometer, and a heart rate monitor. It offers a bright, colorful display, and is easy to use. However, it does not offer fall detection and lacks a mobile app.
- Features: The watch has a built-in pedometer and a heart rate monitor, plus uses a 4G cellular radio to connect you with an agent.
- Pricing: Pricing details are not specified.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the watch’s easy use and bright, colorful display.
10. Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2
Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2
The Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 is a portable medical alert system that uses several locating technologies, including Wi-Fi, GPS, and audio beaconing, to pinpoint your location. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and easy to use. The device comes standard with fall detection, which accounts for its $44.95 monthly subscription price.
The GoSafe 2 pendant measures 3.0 by 1.3 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and weighs just under 2 ounces. It has a white semi-gloss finish and a permanent cord for wearing it around your neck. The cord is wrapped in a velvety collar that won’t irritate your skin and is designed to break away under certain conditions to reduce the risk of strangulation.
The GoSafe 2 uses AT&T’s 3G cellular service to connect you with an emergency response center and GPS technology to locate your position. It also contains a Wi-Fi radio that can lock in to a Wi-Fi hotspot to help locate you if your GPS signal is weak. It also uses breadcrumb tracking to pinpoint your location, and if all else fails, the device will use audio beaconing in which the agent will trigger the internal 123dB siren to help guide responders to your location.
The GoSafe 2’s one-time device fee of $99.95 is significantly more expensive than other devices, and its $44.95 monthly subscription fee is at the high end of the price scale for systems with fall detection included. However, it provided fast response times in tests, taking an average of 26 seconds to connect to a live agent once the button was pressed.
Despite its higher price, the Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 offers multiple locating technologies to help responders pinpoint your position if you are unable to provide this information yourself. However, Philips does not yet offer a web portal or a mobile app to allow family members and caregivers to keep tabs on your whereabouts.
- Features: The system comes standard with fall detection and delivered fast response times and clean two-way audio in tests.
- Pricing: The system is pricier than comparable mobile devices.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the system’s clean audio quality and good response times.
11. UnaliWear Kanega Watch
UnaliWear Kanega Watch
The UnaliWear Kanega Watch is a medical alert device that is designed to look like a regular watch. It connects you to an emergency response center with the touch of a button or a simple voice command. The watch calls for help when you fall down and also reminds you when to take your medicine.
The Kanega Watch has GPS, cellular (Verizon), and Wi-Fi radios that can help pinpoint your exact location in the event of an emergency. Its screen uses white text on a black background, which is easier to read if you suffer from glaucoma or macular degeneration. The watch also houses a speaker and a microphone for two-way hands-free communication and for issuing voice commands.
The Kanega Watch requires a subscription. You can choose between an annual or quarterly plan, but both require you to pay a one-time setup fee. The Kanega watch offers generic medicine reminders, but lacks many of the features that you get with other watches such as a built-in pedometer, as well as a companion app that allows you to send messages to trusted contacts and set reminders for appointments and medications.
The Kanega Watch took an average of 46 seconds to reach a representative in tests. The GPS radio was always accurate in testing, and the emergency response agents were friendly and professional. Two-way audio sounded clear and adequately loud.
While the Kanega Watch is an inconspicuous medical alert device that can connect you to an emergency response agent if you need help, it lacks the mobile app and caregiver tools we expect from medical alert devices, and the required subscription is quite pricey.
- Features: The watch has Wi-Fi, cellular, and GPS radios that enable precise location tracking. Additionally, two-way communication with emergency response agents sounded clean and adequately loud.
- Pricing: The system has pricey subscription plans.
- Customer Reviews: Customers appreciate the watch’s good response times and included fall detection.
How to Choose a Medical Alert System
When choosing a medical alert system, consider your lifestyle and specific needs. If you rarely leave the house, an in-home system might be sufficient. However, if you maintain an active lifestyle, consider a mobile medical alert system that uses GPS technology to pinpoint your location and cellular technology to connect you to a response center.
Also, consider the features you need. Some systems offer fall detection, medication reminders, or caregiver tools. Others are more basic, focusing on providing quick access to emergency help.
Lastly, consider your budget. Medical alert systems can range in price, with some offering discounts for committing to a quarterly or annual payment plan.
Remember, the best medical alert system for you is the one that meets your specific needs and fits within your budget.
Costs and Maintenance of Medical Alert Systems
Overview of Typical Costs
Medical alert systems typically involve several types of costs:
- Monthly Monitoring Fees: These are ongoing costs that you pay to the medical alert company for their services. The fee covers the cost of 24/7 monitoring by the monitoring center and the ability to connect to emergency services when needed. Monthly fees can range from around $20 to over $50 per month, depending on the provider and the specific package of services you choose.
- Equipment Fees: Some medical alert system providers charge an upfront fee for the equipment. This can include the base unit, wearable medical alert devices like pendants or wristbands, and any additional devices like wall-mounted buttons or fall detection sensors. Equipment fees can range from zero (with some companies offering free equipment with their service) to several hundred dollars.
- Activation Fees: Some companies charge a one-time activation fee when you start the service. This fee covers the cost of setting up your account and activating your equipment. Not all companies charge this fee, and among those that do, the amount can vary.
Maintenance and Warranties
Maintenance of medical alert systems is typically straightforward. The devices are designed to be durable and easy to use. However, they do require some basic care:
- Battery Life: The wearable medical alert devices and any portable base stations are battery-powered. You’ll need to keep an eye on the battery life and replace or recharge the batteries as needed. Some devices have a low-battery warning to let you know when it’s time to change or charge the battery.
- Testing: It’s a good idea to test your system regularly to make sure it’s working correctly. This typically involves pressing the help button on your device and then letting the operator who responds know that you’re just testing.
- Cleaning: The devices can usually be cleaned with a soft cloth. They’re typically water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about them getting wet in the rain or during a shower, but they shouldn’t be submerged in water.
Most medical alert system providers offer some type of warranty on their equipment. This can range from a few months to the lifetime of the equipment. The warranty typically covers any defects in the equipment and may also cover replacement of devices that stop working due to normal wear and tear.
Price Lock Guarantee and Monthly Costs
Some medical alert companies offer a price lock guarantee. This means that the monthly monitoring fee you start with will be the fee you pay for as long as you have the service. This can be a significant advantage, as it protects you from price increases over time.
When considering the costs of a medical alert system, it’s important to look at both the upfront costs (such as equipment and activation fees) and the ongoing monthly costs. Some companies may offer a lower monthly fee but charge high upfront costs, while others may have higher monthly fees but low or no upfront costs. It’s also important to consider what’s included in the monthly fee. Some companies include more services in their basic monthly fee, while others charge extra for features like fall detection or mobile alert capabilities.
In the next part of this article, we will discuss how to get the most out of your medical alert system and how to ensure that it provides the protection and peace of mind you need.
Frequently Asked Questions:
In this section, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions about medical alert systems. We hope that this will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of these life-saving devices.
What is a medical alert system and how does it work?
A medical alert system is a device equipped with a help button. When this button is pressed or activated, it calls a medical monitoring center for assistance in the event of a fall or medical emergency. The help button can be worn on your wrist like a watch or around your neck as a pendant. There are two types of medical alert systems: indoor systems and mobile systems.
Who should get a medical alert system?
Medical alert systems are recommended for anyone who’s worried about falling, has health issues, or feels insecure about not being able to call for help in the event of an emergency. They also provide comfort to caregivers who want to ensure their loved ones can access help, even when they’re not around.
Why not use a cell phone instead of a medical alert system?
While cell phones are useful, they may not be accessible during a fall or other emergencies. Medical alert systems can automatically detect falls and call for help, even if you blackout and can’t call for help yourself. They also keep a record of your medications and health conditions, which can be provided to emergency responders.
What happens if I press the help button and can’t talk?
If the medical monitoring staff are unable to speak with you after you’ve pressed the button, they will assume it’s an emergency and send an ambulance.
How much does a medical alert system cost?
Medical alert systems cost anywhere from $19.95 a month for an in-home system to $50 a month for a mobile system. Factors that can make it more or less expensive include equipment costs (many are free) and fall detection (usually around an extra $10 a month).
Are medical alert systems covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance?
Medicare and Medicaid do not cover medical alert systems. Some Long Term Care (LTC) insurance policies cover medical alert systems, but you’ll have to check with your insurance provider.
Can I try the system before I subscribe?
Some companies offer 30-day money-back trial periods. Others offer no contracts and free cancellation, so the most you’ll be charged is one month of service.
Can my monthly fees increase after I’ve subscribed?
Some companies guarantee they won’t increase your monthly fee, many call it a price lock guarantee. Not all companies offer it, so make sure to ask before you subscribe.
These are just a few of the many questions people often have about medical alert systems. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to medical alert system providers or medical professionals for more information.
Choosing the right medical alert system is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the safety and independence of seniors or individuals with medical conditions. This article has provided a comprehensive guide on the best rated medical alert systems, their features, costs, and how to choose the right one based on individual needs.
- Recap of the Importance of Choosing the Right Medical Alert SystemThe right medical alert system can provide peace of mind for both the user and their loved ones. It ensures that help is just a button press away in case of emergencies, such as falls or other medical issues. The best medical alert systems offer features like automatic fall detection, GPS location tracking, and mobile device compatibility, which can be lifesaving in emergency situations.
- Encouragement for Further Research and Consultation with ProfessionalsWhile this article provides a comprehensive guide, it is always recommended to do further research and consult with professionals before making a decision. Factors such as the user’s lifestyle, medical conditions, and personal preferences should be taken into account. It’s also important to read reviews from the reviews team and other users to get a better understanding of the performance and reliability of different medical alert systems.
- Final Thoughts on the Best Rated Medical Alert SystemsThe best rated medical alert systems offer a balance of reliable performance, useful features, and reasonable costs. Brands like Bay Alarm Medical, Medical Guardian, and others have been highlighted for their excellent services. However, the best medical alert system ultimately depends on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.
Remember, the goal is to ensure safety and independence for the user. Therefore, take your time, do your research, and choose the right medical alert system that best fits your or your loved one’s needs.