Product Review: The 5Star Urgent Response Medical Alert
The 5 Star Urgent Response from GreatCall is a great choice when it comes to mobile medical alert systems. These new MOBILE PERS (personal emergency response systems) are redefining the medical alert marketplace (something The Senior List has been advocating for the past few years). The 5 Star urgent response device operates on a cellular network (Verizon), and is very simple to use. As you can see, it has one (1) button! Push it once to connect to the emergency call center… Hold button down to connect directly to 911. This unit is priced right, and there are no contracts that keep you locked in.
Product Info: 5Star Medical Alert System
- Name: 5 Star Urgent Response from GreatCall
- Auto Fall Detection?: No
- Equipment Cost: $49.99 (retail) plus a $35 (one time) activation fee
- Monthly Cost: $14.99 per device
- Features: Lanyard is available (but not posted on website), Belt Clip (available for a nominal charge), Easy to use (1 single) Panic Button, Untethered 24/7 Monitoring on a Cellular Network, GPS Tracking is Available (for family and/or caregiver monitoring), Unlimited Access to GreatCall's “LiveNurse” program, and an Online Portal to help manage contacts, device features, etc.
Review: 5Star Urgent Response Alert From GreatCall
The 5 Star Urgent Response Alert System is a great little device, and 5Star definitely makes our “recommended” list. This is another “untethered” mobile alert device that uses Verizon's cellular network for coverage (you're not bound by a connection to your land-line connected device). You're able to walk around the yard, down the street, or down to the shopping mall (anywhere there's a cell signal). As you can see there is only one large emergency button… and that's it. Press once to be connected to the GreatCall call center, or hold it down (for 5 seconds) to be connected to 911. GreatCall's call center monitors 24/7, they're located in the USA, and GreatCall claims that their personnel is “trained in CPR and other emergency procedures“. There is no limit to the number of times your loved one can depress the emergency call button (says Bonnie- one of GreatCall's customer representatives). If the user is anxious and needs to be connected to their caregiver, loved one, or nurse… A GreatCall operator will patch them through.
The 5Star can not be used as a mobile phone. After all, there are no numbers to dial out. You either connect to GreatCall's call center, OR you connect directly to 911. The pricing plan is also simple (which we like). At $14.99 per month, it's one of the least expensive options for your loved one. For a device with GPS tracking, and a US based (trained) call center The Senior List thinks there is good value here. We also like the fact that when you pay for this unit, it's yours. All you do is activate it (there is a $35 activation fee) and pay your monthly service plan. You can terminate when you want… and you don't have to worry about returning equipment, or cancellation fees.
When we pressed the alert button we were connected to a live operator within 6 rings. The sound quality on the 5Star was as good any basic cell phone might be (while on speakerphone). One thing to consider about this unit or others like it: Aging adults that have hearing loss could have trouble hearing the device (although we had no issues with it at all). The operator we spoke with was courteous and professional, and when the conversation ended she reminded us how to disconnect from the call center (by depressing the call button again).
On of the other considerations for the 5Star alert system is it's use for younger kids. We could see this device being used in lieu of a cell phone for a younger (pre-teen) that doesn't need a phone quite yet. The 5Star could be used as a back-up device if they get into trouble, lost, etc. AND you could pin-point where they are using the built-in GPS technology on board. That piece of mind is easily worth the $14.99 per month to a lot of consumers out there. Our only concern would be that kids could abuse the call button (showing off for their friends) or they could easily lose the device. It might be worth it though, if you were looking for a safety-net for your child…
The Bottom Line:
We really like the 5Star medical alert system. This is a “must consider” device if you're looking for a mobile medical alert system. This is not a device that you'd bring into the shower or bath with you. IF you need a waterproof pendant option, this is not for you. In most cases however, this device would be a great solution both inside and outside the home. If you're looking for a mobile medical alert option with GPS location tracking (in case of emergencies) The Senior List thinks the 5Star is definitely worth a look, and we would recommend this device for someone that needs a mobile medical alert device.