Best Medical Alert Systems 2019
We evaluated more than 20 medical alert systems and after careful consideration, we chose 5 of the best medical alerts to review.
Medical Alert Systems
With a highly trained technologically advanced monitoring team, Medical Guardian offer plans starting from just $0.97 a day. There are various additional options and price plans available.
Bay Alarm Medical
There are four plans which come with varying levels of coverage for all lifestyle requirements and start at $19.95 a month. Each plan comes with a vial of life. You will have access to a highly trained monitoring team.
They use the unique CareSage solution. This helps Philips Lifeline to predict how much assistance you require and how at risk you are. Plans begin at $29.95 a month plus a one off activation fee of $50.
A family owned business with multiple plans and numerous accessories which LifeFone recommend according to your personal situation. Potential coverage from Medicare and Medicaid, plans start at $24.95 a month.
Focused on providing aesthetic products, with GetSafe you can access a large array of accessories to go with your plans. Plans are based on household size and begin at $24.95 a month for the monitoring fee plus a $99 equipment cost.
In the following you will find our list of recommended companies to choose from for medical alert systems, along with an examination of each company selected. If you are looking for further details on any company that has been recommended, please see our dedicated pages to each company which has been reviewed.
Am I likely to fall?
The short answer is yes… probably. Unfortunately, no matter who you are and the self-confidence you have in your physical control and movements, the likelihood of falling greatly increases when you become a senior and the likelihood of it occurring will only grow if you have a chronic condition.
That is why you often have to be brave in this kind of situation and accept that help from a medical alert system is for your own benefit because if you do fall and you are a senior, you are greatly risking the fall impacting you for the rest of your life.
Be aware that the most hazardous area where you need to take precaution is in the bathroom.
Purchasing a medical alert system
Making the decision to purchase a medical alert system can help enhance your quality of life. Without wishing to exaggerate it, purchasing a system could be the difference between life and death.
Thankfully, you are blessed with a comprehensive selection of systems offered by several companies, so you can take your time, scroll the options available and make sure you get the right alert system for you.
How does a medical alert system work?
The unique selling point of a medical alert system is simplicity. With a medical alert system, to make use of it, all you need to do is press the help button to be connected to a representative. Providing the fall detection manages to detect your fall, you will not even have to press a button.
Once connected and speaking to a representative, they will evaluate your situation and combined with your wishes, they will decide whether to contact the emergency services or your caregiver/loved ones instead.
After that, it is a case of just waiting for assistance to arrive.
As described earlier, the chances of falling increases with age. One fantastic element of the medical alert systems that you can find offered is protection through fall detection.
Although not 100% accurate, you would rather give yourself the best chance of survival and minimize the impacts of injury. You may also get false alarms where the fall detection is accidently set off, but honestly, would you rather accept this minor flaw in the design to increase your chances of staying safe or would you be unable to handle the odd mishap and rather take the risk of flirting with danger?
The fall detection may be activated through you physically touching the help button or it may detect your fall. The ability of the device to be able to sense your fall is a fantastic layer of security as it is not beyond the realms of possibility that you may fall and then be either unable to speak or unable to move to activate your help device.
How do you decide between a landline or cellular medical alert system?
The answer is straightforward as it does not require much difficulty. The key to the decision making is you. It depends on your lifestyle and location of where you will be using the medical alert system.
Cellular systems are popular and are prevalent in those that require more active medical alert systems. However, with cellular service you have to factor in the location of where you will be using it as if you are in an area with poor cellular connection, for example deep in a rural area then the ability of the device to work may vary and be inconsistent which is exactly what you are looking to avoid when selecting a medical alert system. You want a system that caters for you and works every time, leaving you more confident in your ability to live a happily life.
In the situation given above, a landline medical alert system would be a better recommendation. Also, if you spend much of your time based at your home and you do not travel often, then the landline option would also be a more suitable recommendation for you.
Do not buy unless you are comfortable and make sure you go at your own pace
With a decision of this magnitude being required, it is essential that you only move forward and sign-up when you are ready and not under the pressure of outside influence, for example salespeople. Also take extra care when signing up to get your system from a reputable source such as the company’s website as the Federal Trade Commission has recently warned that there are people out there scamming vulnerable people in the medical alert system sector.
Medical alert smart watchesUnderstandably, one drawback with a medical alert system is the lack of aesthetic appeal. You do not want to be walking about, having people looking at you thinking you are on your last legs. Both the pendant and smart watch can solve these issues. They are sleek technology, looking more like a fashion accessory. The items are discreet and functional and for example with the watch, you can keep track of time as well as monitoring your own health.
Our list of recommended medical alert systems
To provide you our comprehensive list, we have examined the best companies offering medical alert systems along with the products on offer. We have then gone into greater depth evaluating various criteria including:
- Product features – what is included with each medical alert system and what differentiates it from other products, both advertised by the company and those that are on the market?
- Accessories – companies tend to offer a vast selection of accessories. Some are inclusive in the plans you select, and others must be selected separately.
- Contact centers – when you need help, it is essential you receive excellent service from the contact center in the event of an emergency. As a result, we evaluate how strong the call centers are that the companies use.
- Company background and reputation – for some this is more important than others. To feel safe in moving forward, you want to use a company that you can trust and feel they will not let you down at the most crucial moments when you are vulnerable.
- Costs – this varies from systems offered and accessories to the frequency of payment plans offered.
Medical alert system reviews
From our evaluation of medical alert system providers, we have selected five companies that we most strongly recommend below. The companies recommended are Medical Guardian, Bay Alarm Medical, LifeStation, MobileHelp and Philips Lifeline.
Medical Guardian provide medical alert systems that cover all 50 states as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Their operators speak English and Spanish and use a third-party translation system if required.
Their monitoring team is US-based and have access to your Care Circle (an in-depth file containing your chosen friends and family members details, of which you can choose up to four contacts with three numbers for each contact) to help provide the most suitable service. Their state-of-the-art technology and triple-redundant backup system means they can still provide their high quality service during power outages.
Products they offer cover all lifestyles courtesy of their In-Home Products and On-The-Go-Products.
- Classic – Starting at $0.97 a day – A cost effective option for those wanting a home based system. Product range is up to 1,300 feet away from the base station.
- Home – Starting at $1.12 a day – A landline is not required, using a nationwide cellular network instead. Range is up to 600 feet away from the base station.
- Family – Starting at $2.58 a day – Includes three in-home safety sensors and their Family Guardian app. Range is up to 1,300 feet away from the base station.
- Active – Starting at $1.28 a day – An all-in-one system that comes with the longest battery life of any system they offer and is equipped with fall alert technology. Device is portable.
- Mobile – Starting at $1.61 a day – Built in GPS technology.
- Freedom – Starting at $1.45 a day plus a one-time equipment cost of $99 – Lightweight touchscreen device to keep track of your health that pairs with the Freedom Guardian app.
There are also numerous add-ons available. You can pay for your medical alert system on a monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis.
There is a Protection Plan in place to help ensure you are not left out of pocket in the event of devices being lost, damaged or stolen. You can also cancel your plan at any time and will receive a pro-rata refund.
Medical Guardian has numerous accreditations such as an ‘A+’ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating as well as accreditations with Underwriters Laboratory (UL), The Electronic Security Association, Factory Mutual Approval and TMA Five Star Certification.
Their systems are not covered by Standard Medicare, but you may receive cover from your Medical Advantage plans (check first before purchasing a system).
Medical Guardian has a client base of over 200,000 customers.
Read our Medical Guardian Review
Bay Alarm Medical
Based in California, Bay Alarm Medical has for more than seven decades been providing medical alert systems.
To ensure a smooth operation around the clock, Bay Alarm Medical has two call centers which are in Utah and Idaho which cater for 170 languages. Each call center is CSAA Five Diamond Certified. On average it takes 45 seconds or less for you to connect to one of Bay Alarm Medical’s monitoring technicians. The technician will be able to use your vial of life (a pamphlet which customers use to provide health and medical information) to help in answering your emergency. The vial of life is free with any system your order.
Bay Alarm Medical offer four types of product where you can select the amount of coverage you want from the chosen system.
In-Home Medical Alert
It comes with two-way communication, 32-hour battery backup and is travel easy throughout the USA. It is suitable for covering your home-based safety requirements.
- Basic protection – $19.95 a month
- Preferred protection – $29.95 a month
- Premium protection – $39.95 a month
4G LTE GPS Help Button
A mobile GPS medical alert system.
- Basic protection – $39.95 a month
- Preferred protection – $49.95 a month
- Premium protection – $59.95 a month
In-Car Medical Alert
Designed specifically for use in cars.
- In-Car – $29.95 a month
- In-Car and In-Home – $39.95 a month
- Full coverage – $69.95 a month
Bundle & Save
Comprehensive protection for home use, on the road or out and about.
- In-Home and GPS – $49.95 a month
- In-Home and car – $39.95 a month
- Full coverage – $69.95 a month
One feature you will constantly see with providers is offering fall detection. With Bay Alarm Medical, their device is waterproof, with a two-year battery life and a range of up to 800 feet. Like with similar devices offered by other providers, it does not detect 100% of falls, so if you do fall it is recommended you push the button.
As mentioned earlier, one reason for why we are turned off from using a medical alert system is that they are often ungainly and stand out in a way in which we do not feel good about ourselves. Bay Alarm Medical addresses this with their bella charms. They are a charming accessory that make you feel more comfortable wearing the pendant as they just clip on to the back of them. The charms are interchangeable. You can select the following designs, Stella, Bellarosa, Fantasia and Marina.
They also offer the traditional accessories that you can get with a medical alert system, some of which may be free with the system you choose.
Having a strong background is not the only reason people are attracted to Bay Alarm Medical, by selecting them you get free monitoring for spouses and coverage is across all 50 states with possibly (do your research), Long Term Care Insurance covering the costs and services of the medical alert systems. In addition, if you are part of a senior organization, you may be able to secure discounts on the products available and if necessary, they have a Warranty Protection Plan replacing items if they break due to “wear and tear” or manufacturer defect. If equipment breaks due to you, it will cover 50% of its replacement value.
Read our Bay Alarm Medical Review
LifeStation have been going since 1977 providing their service across the USA and Canada.
With their products, they are looking to provide simplicity, for example on average, set-up takes as little as five minutes and once set-up, the system connects to the LifeStation monitoring center at the touch of a button.
LifeStation own two UL US-based call centers and their care specialists have TMA Five Diamond Certification. All specialists are human with on average a 20 second response time. As a UL call center, it means that their services should be operational even in the event of power outages. If you are unable to speak after activating the help button, a pre-defined action plan will be triggered.
LifeStation offer three different plans, which as advertised on the LifeStation website, start from $19.95 per month, no matter whether you decide to pay monthly, quarterly or annually. The plans are:
In Home Traditional
The most affordable option suitable for those who have a landline telephone.
In Home Plus
Instead of using a landline, this uses its own cellular connection. The battery life of the systems for both the In Home Traditional and In Home Plus plans should last the entirety of the time it is used.
Mobile with GPS
This option is like the In Home Plus system, but it is powered by its own rechargeable battery. It does not require a base station to function and is travel friendly. The battery life lasts up to five days between charges.
Accessories available are the wristband, pendant, lock box, wall mount with additional buttons and bathroom and hallway buttons. Fall detection is also an optional add-on but there is no smoke, fire or carbon monoxide detection.
The base unit is essential as neither the pendant nor the bracelet can accommodate voice-to-voice contact. As a result, you must be close to the base unit to communicate.
One additional feature is Find My Loved One which allows those close to you to text a designated number, and they will receive a response providing your location.
With LifeStation, you will be receiving a service from a company with a ‘A+’ BBB rating and you also have a 30-day money back guarantee if you feel it is not for you.
Read our LifeStation Review
Originating in 2008 MobileHelp provides for the whole of the USA. They use GPS to provide real-time monitoring services and location tracking.
If you choose either the wristband or pendant (both are waterproof), they are both very durable and should last you at least five years if treated correctly. The wall buttons, mobile device and base station are not waterproof.
With the plans available, fall detection is an optional add-on for an additional $10 per month. MobileHelp have three available product areas:
- MobileHelp Classic – The most affordable option and does not require mobile GPS coverage. It comes with one help button.
- MobileHelp Wired Home – A landline based medical alert system with coverage of up to 1,300 feet.
- MobileHelp Duo – The most comprehensive system, it is a combination of the MobileHelp Classic and MobileHelp Solo packages. You will have security both home and away. It does not require a landline.
- Mobile Duo – Receive two buttons for you and your partner.
On The Go
- MobileHelp Smart – A smartwatch that is a medical alert system. It monitors an active lifestyle. The battery can last up to two days on a single charge.
- MobileHelp Solo – For use at home or out and about on the move. It includes a portable mobile GPS device for communication.
Their customer service team works in partnership with Rapid Response and are available 24 hours a day and have response times of 17 seconds on average. They are certified by UL and over 240 languages are covered through LanguageLine.
MobileHelp has a MobileHelp Connect online tracking platform for caregivers and loved ones to ensure you are safe. Features available with it are, location detection requests, non-emergency alerts, system status alerts and emergency alerts.
By selecting MobileHelp you know your provider has an ‘A+’ BBB rating and their systems comply with 21CFR 820 of the FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practice.
Read our MobileHelp Review
Philips Lifeline has the largest number of subscribers (currently over seven and a half million people) and is the first company in North America to offer a medical alert system. Uniquely to Philips Lifeline, they have a CareSage solution which uses predictive analytics to help determine if you are more at risk of requiring assistance.
They have response centers across the USA and Canada that are open 24/7 and have an average response time of 21 seconds. The response team is multilingual and in the event of power outages, the response centers have backup systems in place to continue their service to customers smoothly. You can even use the response centers for non-medical emergencies, not just medical ones.
At Philips Lifeline they have products designed to cover the whole market of requirements and as such cater for home use and use on the go.
- HomeSafe Standard – Starting at $29.95 a month – One time cost of $50 (activation fee) – This option comes with 24/7 access to response centers. You can select either the landline or cellular option.
- HomeSafe with AutoAlert – Starting at $44.95 a month – One time cost of $50 (activation fee) – Teamed with the classic medical alert system, but with AutoAlert (fall technology that uses three technologies in detecting a fall which are, accelerometers, barometric sensors and a finely tuned algorithm) also included. You can select either the landline or cellular option.
On the go
On the go plans use up to six technologies which are Wi-Fi, two-way communication, in-home communication, audio beacon, location breadcrumbs and A-GPS.
- GoSafe 2 – Starting at $49.95 a month – One time cost of $99.95 (device fee) – A single piece system which is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
- GoSafe – Starting at $54.95 a month – One time cost of $149 (device fee) – This comes with HomeSafe access, as well as GPS technology and AutoAlert.
On top of the selection of plans, you are also able to pick up a Philips Medication Dispenser (Starting at $59.95 a month) to help handle medication regimes. The dispenser automatically dispenses medication at pre-programmed times and notifies the caregiver if you fail to follow your pre-programmed times as designed.
As with any provider you must check to see whether you could receive coverage as certainly Medicare does not cover you with Philips Lifeline, but some Medicare Advantage plans may cover your medical alert systems. They have a ‘A+’ rating from the BBB.
Read our Philips Lifeline Review
Although you may wish to downplay the use of medical alert systems and whether you require them, the sensible view is that they are essential pieces of equipment and can have a monumental effect on your life and your ability to live it to its full potential. So take the time to evaluate the companies and what they offer to find what is the right system for you as at the end of the day it could save your life and it is better to be prepared in case of an emergency as if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. By choosing a medical alert system it may not solve all your issues and you may still require additional care, but for your own safety and comfort, they are highly recommended.
Below is a brief table reaffirming our choice above on the companies we recommend and what we consider the best feature of each company:
|Medical Alert Company||Best Feature|
|Medical Guardian||Innovative technology|
|Bay Alarm Medical||Aesthetic accessories|
|MobileHelp||Best customer service|
|Philips Lifeline||Most popular|