Better Alerts is a newer addition to the Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (MPERS) market, a market that’s seen some very exciting companies enter the fray. These new medical alert system providers are challenging the traditional market dynamics, and forcing others to innovate (or die).
Better Alerts uses a winning combination of an Alert App + a Pebble Smart Watch (paired to a smartphone) to provide a comprehensive alert system. Better Alerts founder, Doug Hopkins worked for a traditional medical alert system company and heard customers asking for devices that worked with smartphones. After watching “wearable” devices come to life, Doug saw an opportunity for seniors to use that same technology to maintain their independence. Mr. Hopkins saw the need for something different, and he took action.
Seniors don’t have to stand for having to carry another device for home and mobile protection other than their smartphone and Pebble watch. The days of wearing a Velcro wrist band with a button that doesn’t have any other functionality such as time, date, steps taken etc. are over. Seniors can maintain their independence with a stylish functional watch not one of those “buttons”. – Doug Hopkins, Founder
Better Alerts has all the features that we have come to expect with new personal emergency response system companies. Features like fall detection, alert buttons, activity tracking, medication reminders and a geo-fence that sends location alerts to caregivers
Easy Set Up
The installation of the Pebble app and Better Alerts app was very easy on my Android device (iOS also available) and it only took a few minutes to set up. Once the Pebble smart watch was paired with my phone (bluetooth enabled), I was ready to enter caregiver information in my personalized dashboard.
The Pebble Smart Watch as a Customizable Safety Watch
I was curious about why Doug chose the Pebble Watch to host his innovative medical alert app:
We identified the Pebble as the best piece of hardware due to its reliability, the fact that it is waterproof, affordable for seniors, and had good battery life. The Pebble also is an open platform so it could be developed for iOS and Android where the Samsung smart watch only works with a Samsung phone, same with the Apple smart watch. – Doug Hopkins, Founder
This was my first time using a Pebble and I really liked the product. In addition to installing the Better Alerts app, I found myself using it for email, texts, and music apps. It was easy to use once I pushed all the buttons to see what they would do. The Better Alerts app worked seamlessly with the Pebble and was intuitive as well. The battery on the Pebble lasts from 5-7 days, depending on usage and charged fully in about 3 hours.
Better Alerts Features
Better Alerts offers pretty much everything we like to see in a medical alert system.
- Pebble Smart Watch is Waterproof
- Fall Detection Alert- *coming soon* client or caregiver to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the fall detection based on their lifestyle
- Safe Zone- can be set to a range of 200, 300, 400 yards or 1 mile from home address. When the Safe Zone is broken an Alert with a Google Maps™ locator is immediately sent to the Caregiver and Emergency Contacts with a live locator following them down the road.
- Medication Reminders– once med reminders are set up, user and/or caregiver will receive vibrating reminders of med and description displayed on the watch.
- Activity Reports- the Pebble Smart Watch has a pedometer to record steps.
- Alert Buttons- within the Better Alerts App on the Pebble smart watch, one button can be used to summon a pre-designated caregiver, another button can be used to call 911 directly.
- No Long Term Contracts
The Bottom Line
Better Alerts is competitively priced starting at $19.95/month for a “Basic Plan” with limited features and you must purchase Pebble Smart Watch separately. The “Total Protection Plan” is $29.95/month and it includes a free Pebble Smart Watch and all the features Best Alerts has to offer. I’m impressed with all the features wrapped up in this little watch and its companion app. It was also very easy to set up.
Better Alerts might be too complicated for seniors that aren’t tech savvy. Some folks might also be confused by the multiple buttons on the Pebble Smartwatch. It’s also very important to note that the Better Alerts Medical Alert System REQUIRES a smartphone (to pair with the watch), so that’s an imperative. All-in-all we think it’s a great integrated system, with a lot of nifty features.